As much as I’d like to give the inventor of the plunger a pat on the back for a job well done, she or he departed a long time ago in complete obscurity. The plunger is one of those little conveniences that we can all greatly appreciate for a variance of applications. Although we don’t know who you are, you definitely wore your thinking cap and have saved countless people from some potentially terrible binds.
Educated guesses place the origins of the plunger between 1850 and 1900, when the use of wood and synthetic rubber was becoming common practice. Supporting this theory is the invention of the suction cup during the 1850s.
There are two basic types of plungers. Plungers either have a flat suction cup or a cup with a protruding funnel, more commonly known as sink plungers. Traditionally, plungers were offered in either black or red. These days, as bathrooms have evolved from utility only to more elaborate extensions of our interior design schemes. Plungers are now offered in a bevy of options to match our décor.
Did you know that jazz musicians used to take the suction cups from plungers and use them as mutes to modify the sounds of their instruments, particularly trombones and trumpets? Put that in your horn and blow it!