The History of Gutters
The earliest form of gutters dates back to 3000 BC to the Harappan civilization, who resided in what’s now Pakistan. They would use water-borne toilets that were linked by drains covered with bricks made of burnt clay. This is the earliest form of guttering on record. At the start of the Roman Empire in 27 BC, the Romans built their roads by crowning them in the middle, so that water and mud ran downhill into gutters, which carried the murky water away. It was the Romans that introduced gutters to Britain in 47AD and by 1240 AD The Tower of London had a full gutter system connecting to a downspout. It is believed to be the first downspout that was built in Britain.
In 1709, lead was replaced by cast iron as the most common gutter material. Between 1710 and 1750 gutters became popular on buildings in the American Colonies. The most common type of gutter used consisted of two wooden boards in a V-shape and were fastened to structures with wooden pins or cast iron brackets. It wasn’t until 1751 that built-in gutters started appearing in new buildings in the United States. They were still made out of wood using the traditional V- shape style and were sometimes lined with metal.
Metal rolling machines were invented in the early 1900’s and became very popular in the U.S. This enabled the construction of roll half-round steel gutters which are placed on the edges of buildings. In 1939 World War II accelerated the development of plastics and it becomes the material of choice for many postwar gutters in Great Britain. In the 1960’s seamless aluminum gutter machines were invented and drastically changed the way gutters were produced. Portable gutter machines were first introduced in the 1970’s and nowadays it is the way gutter companies create your gutter at your home or business.