Every time you bend over for a cool drink
of water from a drinking fountain in an office lobby, school, or
public building, youre paying homage to a man named Luther
Haws, inventor of the drinking fountain. All over the world, Haws
brings water to the people.
Its been almost 100 years since the idea of a
sanitary communal source of water came to Haws. He was a self-employed master
plumber and sheet metal contractor as well as a sanitation inspector for the
city of Berkeley, Calif. One day while visiting a school, Haws noticed children
drinking from a shared tin cup. This unsanitary method inspired him to design
and create what he called the worlds first Sanitary Drinking Faucet
featuring a bubbler that allows one to drink from a soft water flow,
eliminating the need to share a cup.
The invention was enthusiastically embraced
first by Berkeley schools, then the world.
Haws relocated its manufacturing hub to Sparks in the
1970s, and in 1996 built a 210,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building where
all products intended for the U.S. market are crafted. Haws also runs manufacturing
facilities in Singapore, Switzerland, and Brazil.
Were one of the few companies in this industry
that still makes and markets both indoor fountains and outdoor fountains,
says Margo Mee, sales manager for the company.
In addition, the company builds and manufactures worker
safety equipment such as eyewashes and drench showers.
Luther Haws spirit of innovation still drives
the company today, now in its third and fourth generations of ownership and
management. Soon company officials will introduce an innovative new shielded
bubbler head, called the EnviroGardTM that promises an even greater measure
of safety for places such as parks and golf courses where reclaimed water is
used for irrigation.
So the next time youre parched and
you press that silver button for a cool stream of fresh water, say
a little Thanks, Luther to the man who made it possible.