Water Heater History
There are many theories about who invented the first water heater. Some say is was the Romans, some say it was Edmund Rudd. Overall it seems it was a compilation of a few inventors over many decades and centuries that helped give us the modern water heater we know and use today.
Prior to the invention of the water heater, most people heated water in a pot on the stove or over an open fire and manually poured the hot water in a tub for washing or bathing purposes. This was time consuming and hard work. The invention of the water heater was a major break through for our modern age and is still considered one of the hardest working appliances in your home and/or business.
Water Heater Quick Fact Timeline
298 Ad – 306 AD Romans built large baths with heated water, while these were not individual water heaters, this was a first step towards water heating.
Fast forward many centuries.
1868 – Benjamin Waddy Maughan a English painter patented the first instantaneous water heater. He invented the Gas Gyser instantaneous water heater, however is did not include a vent and was dangerous for use. This gas-powered unit was the first to heat water as it entered the tub.
1889 – Edmund Rudd – Edmund used the ideas of Mr. Waddy Maughn and upgraded the design to include additional safety features and the modern water heater we are familiar with today was born. See the picture above of our 1904 Pittsburg Instantaneous water heater that sits in our lobby.
1890 to present – Many different designs of water heaters were invented around the turn of the century, including electric and solar water heaters. For the past 120 years or so, we have been utilizing this technology for water heating in most of the developed world.
Present Day – Many different brands and styles of water heaters are available in today’s world, but more recently manufacturers have started to design high efficiency water heaters that use a smaller amount of energy to produce the same amount or more hot water than traditional storage tanks or tankless water heaters of the past. If you are interested in high efficiency water heating you can review some of the newest water heaters including condensing and hybrid water heaters on the market in our product section or call 925-945-6619 and speak with one of our water heater experts 24 hours a day.