We moderns are in the habit of carrying our own water with us. There are entire sections for bottled water in the grocery store. Plastic or steel or whatever water bottles are sold everywhere so we can refill them and take them with us to the gym or on a bike trip.
But this was not always so. When I was a girl there were no plastic bottles. If you wanted to carry water with you, you might have a glass bottle or a thermos, heavy and fragile. If you didn’t carry water with you, you might hope to seek out this sort of thing. The picture is of an old water fountain in downtown Portland, Oregon. It doesn’t have to be turned on — the water runs all the time. It is the modern descendant of the old fountains.
This is what water fountains used to look like — a public pond into which you could dip your jar or cup. Note also the grating, so that you can set your bucket under the flow from the tap. The perpetual flow is organized by grim effort and major engineering that may date back to the Romans. Those were people who enjoyed fountains and they built aqueducts so they could have them. And it is thanks to them, starting the process, that we can sit in a kitchen today and turn on a tap to get potable water.
I can’t show you a picture of subfloor heating, which I happen to have under my feet as I type this. But the Romans invented that too, running hot air pipes under their floors. And believe me, this is the way to go! It’s marvelously comfortable and unobtrusive, and should be far more common in the US. Some of the ancient systems really are great!