From Ancient Egypt to Modern Suppliers: A Pipe History Lesson

September 05, 2012 in Blog, News & Articles, Pipe by

Pipes have been used for thousands of years to transport fluids. But the first galvanized steel pipe supplierĀ appeared only 135 years ago to help supply water to the citizens of San Francisco. What did people ever do without steel pipe?

Over the course of history, many civilizations developed a method of piping to transport water for drinking and irrigation. Bored stone, wood, clay and lead were popular materials for building the first piping systems.

The earliest recorded use of of piping comes from the Egyptians who made the first metal pipe from copper around 3000 BC. The Chinese used bamboo pipe as early as 2500 BC in its first ever usage to transport gas, transporting natural gas from shallow wells to light their capital, Peking.

Around 2000 BC, the Greeks were the first Europeans to develop piping. They used fired clay, hollowed stone and sometimes bronze. The Romans and Persians developed early aqueducts that were not quite pipes, but were still advanced forms of major fluid conveyance. These stone conduits used gravity and brought a constant flow of water into cities to supply baths, fountains and private households, and allowed for the first form of plumbing.

In the first century, the first lead pipes were made in Europe. The first waterworks was made in Boston in 1652 using hollow logs. In the Western United States, redwood was often used for pipe construction and actually preferred over metal, as its properties protected it from weathering, acids, insects, fungus and most importantly, corrosion.

Modern day galvanized pipe suppliers started appearing in the 1800s. In 1815, William Murdock fit the entire city of London with a coal burning lamp system using discarded muskets. When he needed more metal tubes, innovators gathered to work on developing new ways to make pipe. From this point in history, galvanized pipe suppliers continued to improve efficiency of production, and steel pipe prices began to decrease.

Between 1850 and 1860, the steel industry took off due to the invention of the Bessemer process. In 1895, the first seamless tube factory was built. Bicycle manufacturing, auto manufacturing and the discovery of large oil deposits increased the demand for steel pipes. From 1858 to 1900, at least two million feet of steel pipe was installed. Steel manufacturers everywhere vied for business by setting competitive steel pipe prices and implementing better ways to make more efficient pipe. Steel now reigns supreme as the most commonly used material for pipe, as well as the most commonly used material in the world.

St. Louis Pipe & Supply is one of the largest domestic and international distributors of pipe supplies. St. Louis Pipe & Supply is committed to giving you competitive steel pipe prices onĀ galvanized steel pipe, fittings, valves and more.

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