A FAUCET IS NOT ONLY A “DEVICE MADE OF MOLTEN METALS” IN WHICH THE WATER FLOWS:
IT IS AN ENGINEERING WORK…
...that adjusts temperature and flow, interacts with electronics, guarantees technical reliability over time and ensures the components’ purity. A faucet assumes its right value when it becomes part of a complex context, originating from the water source till the supply in our houses, characterized by specific local and socio-cultural environments.
MRG has decided to support the Taps’ Museum as expression of the productive Cusio district, where the taps and valve industry characterizes deep-rooted economical and cultural interactions. The companies operating in this field are bright examples of technological skills, quality and design on a worldwide level.
The first evidence of study and methods enabling to channel water and manage its flow can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. One of the first inventions was the “noria a secchi”, a hydraulic machine with toothed gear for the transmission of horizontal movements into vertical movements, with a chain sequence of mobile metal baskets powered by animal energy.
The first archeologically acknowledged taps are the “valvulae” of Roman Age. These are taps, often made of bronze, in which the rotation of a pierced cylinder allows or stops the water flow.
Roman architects were particularly skilled in building aqueducts with the help of sophisticated equipments. Before being channeled, the water flowed through one or more basins called PISCINAE LIMARIAE, where the flow slowed down so that mud and other particles settled. The pipes were so technically perfect that they are still functional nowadays.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, in Middle Ages, taps were mainly used to regulate the flow of liquids in vessels. These were “male” cylindrical taps with reduced dimensions. They were mounted on small vessels made of wood or metal (ewers, samovars etc.) or on small wall bathtubs. Only few houses had running water: the majority of the population drew water from public fountains in the squares. In feudal castles and palaces, the water collected from wells and tanks flowed in rock canals and was distributed directly in locations needing it.
With the end of the Middle Ages, the human being changes his way of thinking and becomes creator of his life quality. Fountains started appearing in squares, villas and gardens. Engineers, architects, plumbers, craftsmen studied complicated and spectacular jet combinations. It is in this period that the first taps similar to the current ones were born.
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
With the expansion of densely populated areas, a very significant economical, social and technological change took place. Techniques and the experience of tinsmiths, pewterers and braziers improved to meet the modernization requirements. The invention of the “screw” tap is credited to the English Thomas Grill in 1800. Thanks to this device it became possible to adjust the water flow.
MODERN AGE AND TERRITORY
After the World War II, the tap industry increasingly spread in Cusio and Verbano with the enactment of laws and rules disciplining the treatment of water for human consumption. In particular, starting from the Fifties and Sixties, our district definitively took off establishing itself as a global player. The production of the first single lever mixers with ceramic discs started in 1975.