There are some tools that we use so much that we forget they did not always exist. Take the example of the hose clamp. Today, there are many types of hose clamps available for us to use. There are hose clamps stainless steel, there are embossed hose clamps, automotive hose clamps, aviation clamps, and others.
But when was the first hose clamp developed? Who was responsible for that? You may have a lot of hose clamps stainless steel but where did they come from? Sometimes it is easier to have or gain a better appreciation for it. The NORMA Group has put together a piece that goes through the history of this useful tool.
They start by looking at the term itself. They note that there is a reason these are called hose clamps. There were hoses being used before clamps ever were developed. They also cite the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of a hose. That book defines a hose as: A long hollow cylinder of metal, plastic, glass, etc. for holding or transporting something, chiefly liquids or gases.andrdquo;
Hoses themselves were said to be invented in 500 BC. Herodotus, a Greek historian, wrote about the use of hoses by Arans. He wrote about how an Arab king transported water through a tube from the river to get to the desert. This tube was made from skins such as raw oxhides. These were connected through sewing techniques. The king then stored the water in large containers, called cisterns.
Many consider this tube system to the very first pipeline used in the ancient world. By 200 BC, similar methods were used to move water and other liquids in what is now Istanbul, at the time it was called Byzantium. Back then, the tube system was not used for water, but for oil that came from the Caspian Sea. The oil was mainly needed to heat the public baths.
Leonardo da Vinci had other ideas for how tubes could be used. In about 1500 AD, he wondered if there was a way to allow people to stay underwater for longer periods of time. He discovered that by using rings to stiffen leather tubing, divers could use the contraption to breathe underwater.
Da Vinci’s invention was altered somewhat in later years. The leather was changed to canvas by 1673, and then they were changed again to hemp. Gumtree sap was used starting un 1843 to seal the tubes. This is considered to be when the modern hose was born.
The Industrial Revolution changed a lot of things and the way hoses were made was no exception. By the time the steam engine was invented, wire was the primary way to connect hoses. This was no longer as helpful as it had been to keep the connections secure.
Franz Sauerbier, a manufacturer in Berlin, Germany, took things a but further. In 1918, he had created a clamp for hoses used in the garden. His garden hose clamp looks a lot like the hose clamps we use today. Soon after, in 1921, Royal Navy Commander named Lumley Robinson developed the worm drive hose clamp in England.
Unfortunately, it is hard to say who came up with the hose clamp idea because Knut Edwin Bergstrom, an inventor from Sweden, had put in a patent application for his own hose clamp in 1986. As unfortunate as it is to not know definitively who created the very first hose clamps on the planet, there is a funny story from a tiny town in France.
Riquewihr is that tiny town. There are only about 1,100 people who live there. In 1509, a fountain was installed in the village. It was terribly damaged in 1768 and repairs needed to be made. Johann Irion, a local blacksmith tasked with rebuilding the beloved fountain, created a bracket to fortify the fountain. Some have called this bracket the planet’s first clamp.
When you are using hose clamps stainless steel for any of the uses they can have, it may not mean much whether the first hose clamps were developed in France, England, or Germany. One thing that is not disputed is how clamps have changed from the first ones to the hose clamps stainless steel we use today.