The water cooler – from a simply block of ice dating back to the Victorian days to now being noted as one of the most important pieces of equipment that has contributed to the health and well-being of children and adults alike.
The water cooler has come a very long way indeed. About a century ago huge blocks of ice were used to chill the contents of the water cooler but this meant that the unit itself was large and extremely heavy which required the use of several men to move it.
The water cooler as we know it was first invented in the early 1906 and is credited to two men – Halsey Willard Taylor and Luther Haws. Haws patented the first drinking faucet in 1911. It is believed that the main reason behind the invention was to not only chill but to provide purified water. Contaminated drinking water caused typhoid fever in Haws’ father who died as a result. Therefore Haws decided to invent something which would provide safer drinking water.
Water coolers have evolved along with the times and today are compact, light, energy efficient and come in a variety of models, colour and styles to suit most places. Today, many water coolers or dispensers include a heating element to provide hot water along with chilled water. These dispensers must also adhere to strict regulations, meeting health, sanitation and environmental standards.
It is hard to imagine where the water cooler will go from now but its popularity along with the added benefits and convenience that it provides will surely see the water cooler remain in offices, schools and home for many many years to come.