Water Carbon filter

1880-1900 in Manchester

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Stoneware water filter made by Lipscombe and Co., Manchester, late 19th century. Photographed straight on view on a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Stoneware water filter made by Lipscombe & Company, around 1880.

Charcoal inside this filter absorbed bacteria from water. People who could afford one used it to make water safer to drink.

In industrial Manchester, pollution from factories and toilets made drinking the town’s water dangerous.

In 1848, a problem solving engineer, Frederick Bateman, started building a chain of reservoirs in the Peak District. They supplied Manchester’s growing population with clean water. Then in 1894, a new pipeline brought water from the Lake District to quench the expanding city’s thirst.


Water Supply & Sanitation
Object Number:
water filter
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • filtration equipment - particulates

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