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The Interesting History of Women in Plumbing

Here’s How Women Shaped the Plumbing Industry

When it comes to women in business, history doesn’t date back very far, or so one thinks. It might come as a surprise to many homeowners that women have worked in the plumbing industry since the very beginning. They weren’t always doing the dirty work, per se, but their book-work and innovative ideas have revolutionized the plumbing industry forever. One woman, in particular, is Lillian Baumbach, but more on her in a minute. It is women like her that, without them, plumbing might not have advanced as quickly. Continue reading below for more information. 

The Pretty Plumber: Lillian Baumbach


There is so much that can be said about Lillian Baumbach. Where to even begin? Known as “The Pretty Plumber”, Lillian Baumbach was the first-ever woman master plumber. Her love for plumbing started extremely young because her father owned a plumbing business. She quickly immersed herself in the industry and dedicated her life to educating women on how the plumbing system works and making innovative improvements no one else has thought of. 

Plumbing wasn’t her only passion, though. Baumbach was a talented and motivated individual with a color resume of careers, including: 

  • Writing a plumbing book
  • Interviewed by Walter Cronkite
  • Appearing on television shows
  • Penpal for the military

Women and girls everywhere have looked up to Lillian Baumbach for decades. Without her, the plumbing industry would look a lot different today.  

What Was the Ladies Auxiliary Committee? 

ladiesAt one time, the National Association of Plumbers had a committee known as the Ladies Auxiliary Committee. Initially, the committee was intended as nothing more than a social group for the wives of plumbers who were gone all day and needed a distraction. 

The women quickly banded together to form a progressive group of activists who not only balanced books of the businesses that their husbands owned, but also worked to lessen the impact on the environment. 

One of the significant accomplishments the women pursued was to better the hygiene in public bathrooms. Specifically, the group targeted their local Texaco because it was infamous for dirty bathrooms. 

Women’s Impact on Plumbing Today

Women started in the plumbing industry by running the books. This taught them a lot about running a plumbing business. The dirty work is the easy part- it is the backend work that takes expertise and a lot of organization and patience. 

Because of this, women quickly started owning their own plumbing businesses. Now, there are more women-owned plumbing businesses than ever before. Whether they see it this way or not, women have forever shaped how the world sees plumbing. 

It’s Time To Call Gillece Services 

Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Gillece Services offers customized plumbing services to fit every solution and budget. Emergency services are available for those sudden plumbing problems that spring up after-hours. The experts at Gillece Services know that surprise plumbing repairs can cause a financial burden as well, which is why they offer financing options. When you need plumbing repairs, don’t hesitate to call Gillece Services for plumbing work in Pittsburgh!