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Spray, Rinse, Repeat: The Fascinating Evolution of Handheld Showerheads in the US

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

The handheld showerhead has become an essential part of modern-day showering in the United States. It has gone through a long and fascinating history, with its evolution from a simple showerhead to the multifunctional and innovative handheld devices that we have today.

ancient pottery design

The origins of the handheld showerhead can be traced back to ancient Greece, where they used bronze and gold showerheads with multiple openings to sprinkle water on the bather. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that showerheads started to become more popular in the United States. In the early days, the showerhead was mounted to the wall and consisted of a simple pipe with small holes, which allowed the water to flow through.

It wasn't until the early 20th century that the handheld showerhead was invented. The first handheld showerhead in the US was patented in 1889 by an inventor named Lucian L. Waterman. Waterman's design featured a spray head attached to a hose that could be used to direct water where it was needed. Although Waterman's invention was revolutionary, it was expensive, and most people couldn't afford it.

handheld showerhead with us flag

In the 1920s, the popularity of the handheld showerhead grew, and manufacturers began to produce more affordable models. However, it wasn't until the 1960s that the handheld showerhead became a common feature in American bathrooms.

During this time, new materials such as plastic and rubber were introduced, making showerheads more affordable and easier to produce. In the 1970s, showerheads became even more popular as Americans became more environmentally conscious.

New designs were created that conserved water, allowing people to save money on their water bills while also helping the environment.

In the 1980s, the handheld showerhead evolution continued with the introduction of massage features and multi-spray patterns. The new designs allowed people to customize their shower experience and create a spa-like environment in their own homes.

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Today, handheld showerheads are available in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes, and offer a wide range of features. From water-efficient models to handheld showerheads that remove impurities and improve water quality with various types of filters, there is a model to suit every need and budget.

In conclusion, the handheld showerhead has come a long way since its invention in the late 19th century. From simple showerheads to the multifunctional devices that we have today, it has evolved to become an essential part of modern-day showering. With their versatility and convenience, it's no wonder that handheld showerheads continue to be a popular choice for homeowners across the country.


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