History of valves and taps in Iran and the world
the kings in ancient ages used the complete statue of lions or lion’s head for decorating the buildings
especially the fountains and places for drinking water and similarly, after building metallic taps, they decorate the handspike for closing and opening the tap with lion’s head. it is likely that the first taps that imported into Iran or manufactures in Iran were decorated with lion’s head, so the people of that time told open or close the lion, rather that open or close the tap. Although the decorative part was gradually removed and went out of fashion, but the word lion is common now.
Tap or valve is a device, generally metallic, by which we can open and close (on and off and control) the current of liquids and or gases.
The taps or valves are divided to two general groups namely, household sanitary valves and building industrial valves. The equivalent for these expressions is: sanitary faucets or taps and industrial valves.
Nowadays, sanitary valves have found different applications. They are not only devices for optimized usage of water, but also, regarding drinkable and safe water shortage and limitation and cleaning (as a global problem), it is a device for efficient water usage.
Using taps or faucets has been common since ancient ages, such that in 700 B.C, the residents of Minoan royal palace in Grte Island used clay made pipes for piping and irrigation and fountains, and installed taps were made of gold and silver and marble. Also, from 100 B.C to 476 A.C applying lead pipes and silver or marble made taps in private and public baths was so common. in fourth century, only in Rome there were 11 public baths, 856 private baths and 1352 fountains and water reservoirs, and they used different materials, even wood for making faucets and valves, then most of the taps were made of brass. Today, beside brass, the parts that are plated on die cast and plastic are used. Until 1937, they used two separate warm and cold water taps. Then one day a student called Almoen who lived in Seattle Washington, opened the faucet to wash his hands, but because of hot water his hands burned and this happening triggered a new idea in his mind, i.e. building the classic faucets. Unfortunately, we could not found an evident or document indicating the existence of water faucet in ancient ages or the name (s) of faucets makers in one to two centuries before 1961, but we can certainly say that it is possible ancient Iranians used faucets, and in one to two centuries ago, building different kinds of faucets was common. Our reason is based on the samples that prove this possibility. as you may know, in great and magnificent building of Takhte Jamshid (like most of great buildings) and in its advanced water and wastewater pipelines for applications such as drinking, cleaning, agriculture and fountains of that historical building, they have benefited the experiences and knowledge of past such as ancient Egyptian and Rome buildings beside innovation. Therefore, based on construction of baths and fountains, the existence of ample water drinking places in Takhte Jamshid proves the possibility of using faucets in ancient Iran. on the other hand, in the past centuries before construction of Takhte Jamshid, Lorestani founders who lived in seventh and eighth centuries B.C, produced different bronze parts that their precision and ability to present the details and beauty of casted dishes, have invoked the praise and wonder of researchers and the researchers believe that producing and building such precise dishes is possible through wax casting, founding and molding. So, there were no problem regarding technical knowledge for developing and making different kinds of taps and valves in ancient ages.
Besides, we know that building the reservoirs has a long history in the world and in Iran, and we can see those reservoirs in all parts of our country with far historical background. At the end of numerous stairs of each reservoir, there was a place where our ancestors called there faucet foot hole; the reason for that naming is the presence of many big faucets at that place by which, the people filled their jugs. For example Seyed Esmaeil water reservoir was built in 1846 where now the great bazaar of Tehran locates. These reservoirs had three big water faucets; Kolahdoozha house that was built in 1887 in Yazd had a water resource and family members could take water by two faucets (today, this house is converted to Yazd water museum).
Samovar is also another device with different applications and you can find it in the house of any Iranian family and history of it goes back to 160 years ago. Samovar has also a tap, so this is evidence proving the ability of ancient Iranians in building the taps. As another example, we can mention the first bath possessing shower in Tehran that was founded in 1919. This bath was built next to Sepahsalar garden inspiring the baths of Traboozan Turkey. Because these baths were healthier than traditional reservoir baths, the municipality decided to consider the plan of building those baths and gradually, those baths were replaced by baths that had shower, so they certainly had taps and faucets as well. Another example is water pump that is in fact a kind of tap, and since it was used in each Iranian house, so it was certainly produced in ample numbers. It is interesting that the cities such as Birjand, Mashhad, Abadan, have had water piping since 1922 and using faucets in houses and public places was common.
All these examples and instances are the evidences showing the prevalence of production of faucets. Until 1961there has been no name and evidence about the manufacturers of faucets. It may be said that different types of faucets have been imported through Russia and European countries to Iran. This is somehow true, but the quantity of production was low, and limited people from certain social classes could buy it, but the taps of most of the houses and public places and samovars were supplied by domestic manufacturers. We talked to some pioneers in the field of faucets industry and they confirmed production and manufacturing the faucets in 1931 and 1940 decades, but they did not remember the name of certain manufacturer. Around 1963, the first factories manufacturing the faucets and taps of Iran (Bronze industrial factory) was founded by late engineer Afrashteh who was the importer of faucets and valves at that time. then another modern factories were established one by one, such as Iran Abzar industrial production factories founded in 1964, Iran valve (Shibeh sanitary valves) in 1970, Iran Borna in 1971 and Amin Shir in 1977, etc. today, different kinds of electroplating, such as copper, nickel, chrome, gold and silver electroplating not only protect the surface of faucets against corrosion and abrasion, but also regarding aesthetic spirit existing in the nature of humans, this industry presents different kinds of valves and faucets as beautiful and decorative objects to the users.
Reference: magazine of electroplating industry