Welcome to a fascinating journey through time as we explore the hidden wonders of plumbing and gas systems from their ancient beginnings to their modern incarnations.

This journey is more than just a historical exploration it’s a testament to human innovation and resilience that has stood the test of time shaping our everyday lives in ways we often take for granted.

Did you know that the ancient Egyptians were pioneers in indoor plumbing? Or that more copper piping has been installed in the U.S. since 1963 than the distance it would take to encircle the Earth 200 times? Or that the first gas pipelines were constructed out of bamboo in China as early as 500 BC?

ancient bamboo gas pipeline from China

In this article we delve into these intriguing facts and more unraveling the intricacies of plumbing and gas systems. You’re about to discover the remarkable ingenuity of our ancestors, their foresight shaping our present and their innovations promising a sustainable future. So buckle up and prepare to be amazed by the untold facts of plumbing and gas.

Welcome to Dollarwise Plumbing and Gas where quality service and customer satisfaction are our top priorities. For years we have been the trusted name in plumbing and gas services providing unparalleled expertise and commitment to our valued customers.

At Dollarwise Plumbing and Gas we understand the importance of reliable, efficient plumbing and gas systems in your home or business. That’s why we are dedicated to offering top tier services that meet your specific needs. Whether you’re dealing with a minor leak a major renovation or need a new gas line installation our experienced team is equipped to handle the task.

So, when you think of plumbing and gas services, think Dollarwise. We’re here to make sure your systems run smoothly and efficiently, offering you peace of mind and the high quality of service you deserve. Trust Dollarwise Plumbing and Gas  Your wise choice for all your plumbing and gas needs.

1. The Early Use of Plumbing: A Journey Back to the Sands of Time

When we think about indoor plumbing, our minds might conjure up images of modern bathrooms decked out with gleaming faucets and the latest high-tech toilets. But believe it or not, indoor plumbing is no modern marvel. It’s been around for a lot longer than you might think!

Step into the time machine and let’s travel back to the era of Pharaohs and pyramids. Yes, you guessed it right – we’re headed to Ancient Egypt, around 2500 B.C.

Now, you’re probably wondering what the Pyramid of Cheops (also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza) has to do with indoor plumbing, right?


copper plumbing system in ancient egypt

Well, prepare to have your mind blown. This ancient architectural wonder wasn’t just a majestic burial site. It also housed a sophisticated water plumbing system. That’s right – the Pharaohs were enjoying the benefits of indoor plumbing while the rest of the world was still figuring out the wheel!

And that’s not all. These ancient plumbing prodigies weren’t just using any old material to transport their water. They were using copper piping. You know, that shiny, reddish-brown metal that’s still a favorite among plumbers today? The Egyptians were way ahead of the curve. They knew that copper was the perfect choice for their plumbing needs because of its durability and resistance to corrosion. And guess what? We’re still using copper piping in our homes today, over four thousand years later!

This historical use of copper in plumbing is nothing short of amazing. It shows the remarkable foresight and ingenuity of the ancient Egyptians. Their understanding of sustainable and efficient materials was truly ahead of its time. So, the next time you turn on your faucet or flush your toilet, take a moment to appreciate the long history of plumbing. It’s a tale that stretches back to the sands of Egypt and continues to flow through our lives today​​.

2. The Astonishing Volume of Copper Piping and Australia’s Unique Copper Story

Copper piping, a plumbing staple, has played an integral part in the development of modern structures. Since 1963, the United States alone has installed more than 28 billion feet, or about 5.3 million miles, of copper piping in buildings. That’s enough to encircle the Earth 200 times! This underscores the importance of copper piping in the realm of plumbing and infrastructure development since the mid-20th century​.

Halfway across the globe, Australia, too, has a fascinating relationship with copper piping. Australian copper tubing is classified into four types: “Type A”, “Type B”, “Type C”, and “Type D”.

copper piping underneath the city

Unlike the United States and Canada, which measure pipe sizes based on their inside diameter, Australia uses the DN (diamètre nominal) number, a nominal millimeter equivalent to the actual Imperial size based on the outside diameter. This distinction in measurement methods highlights Australia’s unique approach to plumbing practices​.

In the land Down Under, copper pipes are often brazed with silver-containing brazing rods rather than being soldered. This brazing technique ensures a stronger bond between the pipework and avoids the use of lead-based materials, demonstrating a commitment to both strength and safety in their plumbing practices. Copper pipes in Australia serve both water and gas connections, emphasizing their versatility and critical role in the country’s infrastructure​.

Notably, copper’s resilience, malleability, and corrosion-resistance make it an ideal choice for plumbing. Its ability to bend easily around corners without breaking is especially advantageous in the construction and maintenance of complex plumbing systems. The use of copper in Australia extends beyond merely practical reasons, reflecting a deep understanding of material sustainability and efficiency that traces its roots back to ancient civilizations​.

Copper even extends its protective qualities to the environment, with copper sulphate being used as a fungicide to prevent plant roots from blocking drains and sewerage systems. The careful application of copper in these ways further highlights the country’s innovative and conscious approach to plumbing and environmental management​.

In conclusion, the story of copper piping in Australia is one of ingenuity and sustainability. From their distinctive methods of measuring and installing copper pipes to their clever utilization of copper’s properties, Australia presents a unique perspective on the world of plumbing. As you turn on a tap or switch on the gas stove, remember the unseen yet critical role of copper piping that makes these conveniences possible.

3. The First Gas Pipelines: From Bamboo to Steel

While indoor plumbing can be traced back to ancient Egypt, the first gas pipelines also have an intriguing history that goes back to 500 BC. In ancient China, people ingeniously used bamboo to create pipelines that could transport gas, primarily for the production of evaporated salt brine. The thought of using bamboo, a natural resource readily available in their environment, to channel gas for practical uses truly speaks volumes about the resourcefulness of early civilizations​.

However, the commercial use of natural gas wouldn’t occur until much later. The Oracle of Delphi, constructed around 1000 B.C. on Mount Parnassus in ancient Greece, was built where natural gas seeped from the ground and was ignited into a flame.

bamboo pipelines in china to steel

 But it wasn’t until around 1785 in Britain that natural gas began to be commercialized. The British used natural gas produced from coal to light houses and streets. By 1816, Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, followed suit and used this type of manufactured natural gas to light its streets, becoming the first city in the U.S. to do so.

The first natural gas well  was dug in 1821 by William Hart in Fredonia, New York, marking the birth of the first American natural gas distribution company. A decade later, in 1836, the City of Philadelphia established the first municipally owned natural gas distribution company. This marked the beginning of public gas systems, which now number more than 900 in the U.S. alone​.

For most of the 19th century, natural gas was primarily used as a source of light. However, with the invention of the Bunsen burner in 1885 by Robert Bunsen, new opportunities opened up for the use of natural gas. By the 20th century, as efficient pipeline systems began to be built, the use of natural gas expanded to include home heating and cooking, appliances such as water heaters and oven ranges, as well as manufacturing and processing plants, and boilers to generate electricity​.

Today, natural gas is a critical component of the world’s energy supply. It currently supplies more than half of the energy consumed by residential and commercial customers and about 41 percent of the energy used by U.S. industry. It’s one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. The two million-mile underground natural gas delivery system in the U.S. boasts an impressive safety record​.

From bamboo pipelines in ancient China to the intricate network of steel pipes today, the history of gas pipelines is a testament to human ingenuity and adaptability. As we turn on our stoves to cook dinner or adjust our thermostats for comfort, we are connected to a tradition of innovation that spans over two millennia.


In conclusion, the intricate systems of plumbing and gas pipelines that we take for granted today are the result of a journey spanning thousands of years.

From the early use of indoor plumbing in ancient Egypt to the bamboo gas pipelines of ancient China, these systems bear testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of human civilizations across the ages.

Copper, with its durability, resistance to corrosion, and versatility, has played a significant role in the development of plumbing systems. The astonishing volume of copper piping installed in buildings worldwide, not just in the U.S., attests to its importance in modern plumbing.


copper piping and gas infracture

The evolution of gas pipelines, from bamboo to steel, has been equally fascinating, leading us to today’s complex natural gas infrastructure that powers homes and industries across the globe.

As we continue to rely on these systems in our everyday lives, it is humbling and inspiring to look back and appreciate the millennia of innovation that have brought us here. The histories of plumbing and gas systems serve as powerful reminders of the extraordinary capacity of human beings to harness the resources of our planet, to innovate, adapt, and build systems that improve our quality of life.

As we look to the future, these stories from our past will continue to guide and inspire us.