An essential means of heating the bathroom for many, bathroom radiators play a huge part in our bathroom designs. Not only do they add a layer of comfort to the room for all users but equally radiators help dry out this high moisture environment quicker. 
Though not many of us take much notice of these essential fixtures, our choice of a radiator in this room can also play a crucial design factor in our chosen bathroom suite. But have you ever wanted to know where the idea for the radiator originated and who invented it? 
Here, The Bathroom Showroom carries on with its short informative series. Every month we select a bathroom fitting or fixture and delve into its origins. This month it’s all about the radiator.

The History of The Radiator

The Romans Created An Early System of Central Heating
Many people believe it’s the Romans that should take the credit when it comes to the first early designs and suggestions of what we now call a radiator. In many ways thanks to their ingenious hypocaust design, the Romans created something akin to central heating. 
A hypocaust was a system of central heating that was placed in a building in a room and used to heat the room below, the room above, and even those at the side through the walls. Sending warm air circulating through the floors and walls, this device was also used to heat private baths and even those famous roman baths.
Historians also believe that the Ottoman Empire took great advantage of the hypocaust invention, using it to heat their own Turkish baths.
Mediaeval Times Once Again Neglected Roman Advancements
As with many fantastic bathroom inventions, like the shower, bath, and basin, the Mediaeval times allowed the progress of hypocausts to die out, in particular in Europe. Though during the century that followed the Roman rule, certain places such as Arab countries, and eventually Spain, did continue to utilise the concept of hypocausts.
18th Century Russia Introduced Water Based Central Heating
Taking a most innovative approach to heating, Russian engineers fed up with facing sub-zero temperatures created a design that ensured the palace in St Petersburg became the first building to receive piped water. 
18th Century Britain Saw Steam Heating Take Off
Meanwhile, in Britain, with the technology to generate steam taking hold, two British steam engine pioneers, James Watt and Matthew Boulton, installed steam heating technology in their own homes. 
Steam heating then progressed from here, with the USA borrowing both Britain's ideas and equipment. This eventually found its way into many large popular buildings, including The White House and The Capitol Building. 

When Did Radiators Start Being Used in Homes?

It took several more decades until the concept of the radiator made its way into people's homes. And yet, there remains to this day slight confusion as to who exactly was responsible for this wonderful achievement. 
Though Franz San Galli is often referenced, many believe it was American stove maker, Stephen Gold who in 1854 brought the concept of heat distributors, or hot boxes, into people's homes. 
The Bundy Loop and Victorian Era Modernised Radiators
When Gold’s concept was paired with Nelson H.Bundy's cast iron radiator system and loops, the radiator as we now know began to take on immense popularity. Furthermore, Victorian times took this cast iron concept, installed it in homes, and made radiators a most decorative feature, as well as a means of heat, combining practicality with style.

Modern Day Radiator Choices are Stunning-Looking Design Pieces

Today's radiator designs owe a lot to those cast iron fixtures the Victorians favoured so much, with many people reverting back to replicating these designs even in the 21st century! What’s more, with some of the sleekest and most stylish designs available, many bathrooms continue to use their radiators to make an interior design statement!
If you’re considering a new radiator, book an appointment with The Bathroom Showroom. Experts in all things bathrooms, we can help turn your dream bathroom into a reality.