Imagine yourself on a hot summer day after a hard workday! You probably go straight to the drinking fountain to fill the jug and after adding a few pieces of ice, you will drink it happily. This whole process takes a few seconds, but access to safe and clean water by using a tap, is not easily possible and many inventors since many years ago, developed various ideas on plumbing, water treatment, and even nozzles in taps.
The first attempts to provide modern urban water infrastructure and designing drinking fountains back to the early 1900s. In that era, two creative people, almost in parallel, tried to market their innovative tap. On one side of this exciting competition were Halsey Willard Taylor and his company, the Halsey Taylor Company, and on the other, Luther Haws and the Haws Sanitary Drinking Faucet Co.
Such technological competition has completely changed the way of supplying drinking water. The story of the arrival of these two successful inventors and entrepreneurs in the field of plumbing and drinking water is very interesting. Taylor's attention to creating a simple and efficient water supply tool for access to drinking water began when his father got typhoid fever after drinking contaminated drinking water in a public place.
His father's death had a profound effect on him and motivated him to develop an improved hygienic drinking water supply. Haws in the other hand was a part-time plumber, sheet metal contractor, and health inspector in Berkeley, California. While inspecting a public school, he saw children drinking from a shared tin glass that was connected to a water source. This made him worry about students’ health and led him to implement his ideas to make the process healthier.
shared shreds of evidence show that the first modern faucet for drinking water was invented by Luther Haws. He used his technical knowledge in the field of plumbing, and by changing some parts and creating a valve to open and close the waterway, he installed his innovative tap in a school in Berkeley. Well aware of the commercial value of his invention, Haws patented it in 1910, in parallel with the founding of his company. His invention was patented as "US 985757" in February 1911 by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
He tried to commercialize his invention by producing various valves, and even in the succeeding years, he introduced other by-products such as emergency showers into the production line. The company now has offices in several countries, including the United States, Singapore, Brazil and Switzerland, and the fourth and fifth generations of the Haws family are leading his valve industry.
Although more than a century has passed since the invention and commercialization of the innovative Haws drinking fountain, perhaps one of the major milestones in the development of this invention is the design and production of a combined drinking fountain with the possibility of adjusting the water temperature. This interesting and unique invention was born only due to a different event and look of its inventor.
Alfred M. Moen, a student at the University of Washington, while working in a garage to pay for his university tuition, went to the fountain one night in 1937 to finish his shift and wash his hands. Taps at the time were generally of two types, one for hot water and the other for cold water. Then he mistakenly turned on the hot tap and poured hot which burning on his hands. The shock of this simple event greatly occupied the mind of the young man. He wondered why water with moderate temperature could not come out from the same tap. What he wished to do was a way to control the volume and temperature of the water at the same time. Because handwashing was a common process, he believed that solving the problem could be very attractive.
Moin, a mechanical engineer, began to realize his idea. After several efforts to design the new valve, the problem seemed to be solved: "A fountain with a handle that holds the hot or cold water in a chamber before it reaches the desired temperature. The interior was mixing. He was very interested in commercializing his invention.
Therefore, he presented his design to various manufacturers. He did not receive a positive response at first, but one of the main producers told him that the design had essential drawbacks. This warning caused Moin to improve his design and fix some problems. At this time World War II started, and with the shortage of bronze and other supplies, Moin worked at a dockyard in Seattle and then at Boeing. However, he never gave up his dream of producing a new faucet.
In 1947, almost a decade after Alfred Moin first invented the faucet, he found a producer for his invention. Ravenna Metal Products manufactured valves based on the Moin Initiative and sold them to a supplier in San Francisco. The valves, which retailed for $ 12, were well received. It did not take long for Ravana to put the annual production of 5,000 new fountains on its agenda to meet growing market demand. "The price was reasonable and easy to use," said Bob Miodonski, editor-in-chief of Contractor Magazine. In 1959, Fortune Magazine named Moin Faucet one of the top 100 mass-produced products in the world, along with Henry Ford's T-model and Benjamin Franklin gas stove. The world seemed to realize the value of this invention.
It should be noted that, just like Luther House, Alfred Moin tried to protect his invention. In 1940, he registered his first application as a "multi-purpose valve", which in November 1942, he received a patent certificate with the number "US 2301439". Subsequently, with the continuous improvement of the device, new applications were filed, perhaps the most important of which was the patent number "US 2757687". The title of this patent refers to the fact that milk is a single batch and mixes hot and cold water.
Alfred Moin's invention transformed American homes, and Moen Inc. became practically one of the largest manufacturers of kitchen and bathroom faucets in the world. Interestingly, more than 70% of the fountain used in the US market today are originated from Alfred Moin's invention. He never got into the running of his company and preferred to invent and engineer and keep himself behind.
As a result, Moin had the company's R&D department until his retirement in 1982, while he filed more than 75 patents to protect his innovations. Replaceable cartridges for dripping and leaking faucets and pressure relief valves for bath showers when using other household faucets to prevent sudden cooling of water are examples of these interesting inventions and innovations. It should be noted that Alfred Moin, despite his diverse talents, was proud of being an inventor and mentioned only one job title in his business card: "Inventor".