Ceramic piping used in drainage, 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model of ceramic pipe. Good drainage and a clean water supply have always been crucial to public health. However, this was only fully recognised in Britain in the 19th century when the will to provide them, and the means to do so, emerged. Whilst potteries mas-produced standard ceramic piping (this is a travelling salesman's sample), engineers, like Joseph Bazalgette (1819-1891) in London, undertook huge drainage schemes.