Without the help of plumbers, many households may have suffered the long-term effects of running toilets, leaking faucets and broken pipes. These modern-day heroes are willing to accomplish the job most people could never do in their lifetime. They arrive at your doorstep wearing their flannels, denim jeans and work boots, along with their tools in their hand.
Although plumbing has not been greatly regarded in films or works of art, there are plumbers that made a significant impact in the world. And while they’re not busy unclogging your toilets or fixing pipes, these plumbers have been known for their talent in singing, acting, politics and many more!
Here are the most famous plumbers in history that you should be aware of:
Born in 1836 in the town of Yorkshire, England, Thomas Crapper is considered to be one of the most important plumbers in history. He was popularly known as the founder of Thomas Crapper & Co, a company that provides authentic, high-quality bathroom products. His company is also known for owning the world’s first-ever toilet, sink and bath showroom which gave birth to Ikea.
One of his greatest achievements was inventing the float valve, a component that makes flushing the toilet extremely simple. He also held nine patents throughout his career, some of them focusing on water closet improvements.
Thomas Crapper & Co. became so famous for their bathroom products and quality that Prince Edward himself commissioned Crapper to supply the plumbing when he purchased the Sandringham House. This includes 30 lavatories with cedarwood seats that earned Crapper his first Royal Warrant.
Also referred to as ‘the Last Fighting Tommy’, Harry Patch is considered to be the oldest man in Europe, dying at the age of 111. He served the British Army as a private soldier at Tolland Barracks, and he was eventually promoted as a lance corporal. However, he was instantly lowered in rank when he got involved in a fistfight with a fellow soldier.
After that, Patch had applied for multiple roles in several regiments including the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before becoming an assistant gunner. In June 1917, he was one of the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Passchendaele where a piece of shrapnel injured him.
Shortly after the war, he became a plumber. He spent four years working for the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol, and eventually became the manager of a plumbing company.
One of the most interesting plumbers to ever exist in history is John Gotti—an American gangster and leader of the Gambino crime family. Gotti ordered the execution of Paul Castellano in 1985 so he could take over the most powerful crime syndicate in the United States of America.
When Gotti was at his peak, he was known for his charming personality. He was outspoken and displayed a confident sense of style, which helped him earn the trust and favour of the public. Due to his flamboyant style and personality, he was given the nickname ‘The Dapper Don’. And while he’s busy doing his crimes and riding in his speedboat, he sold plumbing supplies around New York City!
However, Gotti’s plumbing and crime career were put to an end when he was finally convicted on multiple counts of murder, racketeering, tax evasion, extortion and loansharking, among other offences.
Who would have thought that one of the icons of heavy metal was once a plumber’s apprentice? Ozzy Osbourne, who became the vocalist of Black Sabbath in the 1970s, worked as a trainee plumber, construction site labourer and abattoir worker when he was just 15 years old, shortly after he left school. He pursued plumbing for about three years while doing music in his free time until he abandoned the whole thing and became a full-time rockstar.
However, in 1979, Osbourne was fired from the band due to drug and alcohol abuse. But that did not stop him to pursue a solo career that earned him the title ‘Godfather of Metal’, garnering a total of 100 million album sales.
If Osbourne became a full-time plumber instead, the world of rock would be a lot different today.
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher
Popularly known as Joe the Plumber, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher is known for his appearance and question during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. He questioned Barack Obama’s tax policy which would increase the taxes imposed on small business owners. This was because during that time, he was interested in purchasing the plumbing contracting business that employed him, which earned him his nickname.
However, Wurzelbacher never managed to buy the plumbing business due to media attention. He eventually became an American conservative activist and commentator and ran for political office in 2012.
Known as the co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), Jason Hawes is an American plumber who also works as a television host, producer and paranormal investigator. At the age of twenty, Hawes started apparitions and spirits after his girlfriend performed Reiki. So, in 1990, he founded the Rhode Island Paranormal Society (RIPS) where people gather to share their paranormal experiences.
Aside from that, he dedicates half his time working as a plumber for Roto-Rooter, a plumbing company based in Cincinnati. he brought along his co-worker Wilson into the plumbing industry, where they became long-time working partners.
Take the plunge: Reasons to become a plumber
Now that you’re familiar with the most interesting plumbers in history, you might wonder if plumbing is the right career for you. If you’re seriously considering this hands-on job, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are the best reasons why you should become a plumber and pursue a satisfying career:
Reason # 1: Hone your problem-solving skills
When you are a plumber, you will be introduced to a wide range of issues on a daily basis. From leaking faucets faulty pipes to water heater issues, you have to make sure that you can properly handle them with ease. You need to think outside the box and get creative if you truly want to impress your clients and get the job done.
Remember that you have to read blueprints, study various tools and learn the different types of fixtures and faucets before you can become a plumber. You have to piece these things together like you’re working on a puzzle to find the best solution and the easiest fix.
Reason # 2: Deal with different situations every day
If you can’t imagine yourself sitting in front of a computer for eight hours straight, then being a plumber might be the career for you. You won’t ever get bored with the job since you’d be dealing with different problems every day. You’d get a call from a client asking you to fix the toilet, and then the next day, you’d be fixing the faucet in another household.
Moreover, the plumbing industry offers various jobs for you to choose from. For instance, you can take part in the development of plumbing technology, create plumbing projects and design plumbing systems for buildings and houses, among other things.
Reason # 3: Get a sense of independence
One of the best advantages of working as a plumber is it gives you the opportunity to work and be independent at the same time. You can set your own schedule, open your own plumbing service company and choose the jobs you only want to do. In this way, you can make more time for your family, do your hobbies and even pursue another career on the side.
However, if you’re just starting out in the industry, it may be hard for you to get this kind of flexibility. You have to build your career first and display enough experience so you can work on your own terms.
Reason # 4: Help people
Another benefit of working in the plumbing industry is you get to directly help people. You give them solutions and interact with them in real-time, helping you establish long-term connections in the process.
Also, you get to hone your customer service skills, which is an important quality of being a plumber. Since you have to deal with different customers throughout your career, you need to know how to build rapport and meet their needs.
In the long run, this will give you a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction. Remember that plumbing services have protected people from illnesses and accidents, helping them unclog drains and fix pipes that would have caused damage to their properties. You’ll be making a difference, no matter how small.
Reason # 5: Be part of Plumber Centurion
Plumber Centurion, with our years of experience in the industry, will gladly welcome you to our growing team of plumbers. We offer advancement opportunities, competitive salary and a flexible schedule to ensure work-life balance. Interested to join us? Contact us now!