Building Dates in History: 

History spelled out with books.

Ever Wonder When it Happened?


1596; 1ST Toilet invented by Sir John Harrington for the British Royal Family

1652; City of Boston installs hollow logs for sewer lines

1775; Alexander Cummings receives first patent on a Flush Toilet

1804; Philadelphia becomes first city with all cast drain sewage lines

1815; Galvanized pipe replaces lead for in-home water pipe

1845; Vertical pit manufacturing replaced horizontal for cast drains. Cast drains

           remain the black water pipe of choice until 1950’s

1850; galvanized pipe hits mass production, the supply of choice until after WW2

1872; Toronto Water Commission inaugurated

1885; Chicago becomes first city with both sewers and water supply in N.A.

1891; Thomas Crapper obtains patent on valve and siphon toilet

1897; Toronto opens first public bathrooms

1900; 70% of US cities use lead for main underground water supply

1920; Lead supply is banned from all US city main lines.

  1. Al Moen invents the first single faucet “stick shift” tap

1940; National Plumbing Code is introduced in Canada

1942: Two Ply toilet paper is invented

1975; Canada bans lead pipe; lead in general for all consumer use.



1880; Coal fired plants are now the preferred method of electrical generation

1880-1930’s; Knob and Tube Wiring is the first residential wiring method

1883; Parliament Buildings and the CNE have electrical lights/power

1883; Hamilton becomes the first Canadian city with electric street lights

1887; First Electric Fan is invented

1896; Town of Perth all gets residential electric lights

1890; Niagara Falls Hydro Electric construction begins

1891; First Practical Electric Car produced in the USA. By 1900, 28% of all

           American automobiles were electric powered. Henry Ford’s low

           cost mass produced Model “T” killed the electrical car in North America.

1909; First Canadian-USA transmission line is installed

1921; Ontario Hydro, at that time, was the largest power utility in the World

1927; First Electrical Code in Ontario

WOOD FRAME SYSTEMS; time periods when method was most popular

1680-1840; Log and Timber Frames were most popular method of home building

1800-1870; Braced Frame becomes an alternative method

1870-1930; Balloon Frame becomes the wood frame method of choice

1925-today; Platform frame invented in California and used in homes today.



1777; Samuel Miller invents the circular saw blade

1797; First all brick home is built in Belleville

1810; Tabitha Babbitt puts a blade on a spinning wheel allowing for

           Every movement to produce a cut….saw mills were born

1865; First Architectural book printed in Upper Canada

1932; First Commercial printing of Architectural Graphic Standards

1941; National Building Code was introduced



1741; Ben Franklin invents the “Franklin” metal lined fireplace

1742; Franklin introduces the cast iron free standing wood stove

1796; Count Rumsford introduces the shallow firebox “Rumsford” fireplace design

1800; James Watt installs the first residential steam boiler system in his home

1830-1935; Coal rises and then falls in popularity taking over from wood

1832; Screwed cast iron pipe is invented for mass production

1855; Franz Galli invents the hot water radiator

1874; Nelson Bundy takes cast iron radiators to mass production

1885; Dave Lennox begins mass production of a steel welded coal fired furnace

           This design became known as the “octopus” furnace, were produced until

            Late 1940’s

1902; Willis Carrier invents air conditioning

1919; While sometimes disputed, an African-American Lady Alice Parker is

            credited for the first forced air design ducting system.

1935; Coal furnaces turn to oil for fuel

Today, heating standards are within the Ontario Building Code and are regulated by the Technical Safety Standards Authority (TSSA).   Actual heating standards over time drifted from building codes, plumbing standards, provincial regulations and manufacturer’s recommendations. Today, the TSSA has a massive mandate over heating all residential and commercial standards, elevator installations, propane storage and a long list of safety related governance.  If you have a fossil fuel heating appliance somewhere on this furnace or boiler there has to be a tag or sticker stating this installation is provincially TSSA approved for operation.

 The Electrical Safety Authority governs all electrical installations in Ontario, both residential and commercial. If you are in a newer home or had a recent upgrade on your system somewhere on your electrical panel there should be a sticker stating this has been ESA inspected or a sticker that states this installation was certified by an Electrical Contractor on the “Preferred Contractor Program” who can certify his work is ESA compliant.

 Your local municipality is responsible, via their Chief Building Official (CBO), for all building permits for new construction, renovations or related building assembly (decks, storage buildings etc)

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