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Water Pipe

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The use of wood for pipes has an ancient history, particularly in places where wood is plentiful and cheap. The Romans, whose desire for water exceeded the available wood, created their water systems from ceramic tile pipes, but in most of the world wood was used into the early 20th century. Some town utilities used wooden pipes in their water works as late as 1915. At that time, commercially available pipes were half the cost of iron, which, it was felt, added a sour taste to the water. Iron pipes were also subject to corrosion and wood was touted as having as long a life as iron. In this period, there were two main types of wooden pipes: those made of two pieces of wood sealed with asphalt and held together by iron or steel bands, and those made from a bored-out log and reinforced by metal bands. The former were less expensive, while the latter were stronger. The use of wooden pipes ended completely during World War I and in the early 1920s. Improvements in the casting of iron pipe and in the creation of strong and significantly less expensive ceramic pipes created far superior products. These pipes were owned by H.C. Haskell, a River Road farmer and selectman of Deerfield, Massachusetts.


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