Saturday October 16, 2021’s Smile of the Day: Indoor Plumbing

On this Day:

In 1829, the Tremont Hotel, the 1st US modern hotel, opened  in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tremont House (1829– c.1895), sometimes called the Tremont Hotel, was a hotel designed in 1829 by Isaiah Rogers in Boston, Massachusetts. Notable guests included Davy Crockett and Charles Dickens.

The Tremont House was a four-story, granite-faced, neoclassical building, located at the corner of Tremont and Beacon Streets, with its main entrance on Tremont. It incorporated many hotel “firsts”:

  • Indoor plumbing
  • Indoor toilets and baths
  • Reception area
  • Locked rooms for the guest
  • Free soap
  • Bellboys

Despite this long list of innovations, it is probably best known as the first hotel with indoor plumbing and running water. The hotel’s water was raised by steam-powered pump to a storage tank on its roof, where it fed by gravity to the taps. Eight water closets (toilets) were provided on the ground floor. Bathrooms for bathing were located in the basement, and served by cold running water. Bathtubs were copper or tin, with local gas heating for the tub’s water. Running water was also provided to the kitchen and laundry. A simple system removed the waste water to the sewage system.

During the 19th century it was socially unacceptable for women to dine alone in the public rooms of hotels. The hotel was among the first urban establishments to open a women-only dining room, referred to as a ‘Ladies’ ordinary’.

The Tremont House set the standard for luxury accommodations and was the model for many hotels built in major cities at this time. One of the most notable, also designed by Isaiah Rogers, was the Astor House (1836) in New York City.

However, The Tremont House was not the first living accommodation with indoor plumbing.  

Tap water (also known as faucet water, running water, or municipal water) is water supplied through a tap, a water dispenser valve. Tap water is commonly used for drinking, cooking, washing, and toilet flushing. Indoor tap water is distributed through “indoor plumbing”, which has existed since antiquity but was available to very few people until the second half of the 19th century when it began to spread in popularity in what are now developed countries. Tap water became common in many regions during the 20th century, and is now lacking mainly among people in poverty, especially in developing countries (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

I have two friends from college who studied ancient Egyptian plumbing. They were pharaoh faucet majors.

Second, a Song:

The Pipe Guy has created a musical instrument out of PVC pipes. Here is what he says about himself (courtesy of

Hi, I’m the Pipe Guy!

My name is Jake and I am a street performer from Adelaide, South Australia. I play instruments that I build myself out of PVC pipes and play them with thongs (or flip flops to you non-Aussies :P). I was inspired by The Blue Man Group when I saw their DVD

I stream every day over at

I play drums in a post rock/prog rock band called Dusty 🦊

Instagram: @pip3guy


Here is The Pipe Guy from Adelaide performing one of his compositions.  I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“Modern cynics and skeptics… see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.” – John F. Kennedy

Further to the Bowling Smile, Sandy Weames of Campbell River, BC, Canada writes:

“Thanks David, This was very interesting as I have enjoyed bowling since I can remember. Kate and I used to have bowling dates at our local bowling alley on Toonie Tuesdays. Lots of fun and laughs. Next time you and Colleen visit, we should all go for a few games.” 

Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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