Antique Shower Head Proves Some Things Don’t Change

Some technologies never change. Some products are almost exactly the same as they were half a century ago. That certainly applies to simple tools such as the rake, the screw driver, or the hand saw. Let’s see, what else – furniture, weather vanes, flannel shirts, and more.


Yes indeed. The fact is most shower head designs have not changed much over the past century, even though the flow rates were cut in half in 1993 to 2.5 GPM and are now being reduced even further.

This is something that I have been pointing out for a while now on my High Sierra Showerheads website and other media, attempting to explain why today’s low-flow shower heads (other than the High Sierra) have such weak sprays.

Recently, I came across an antique, 1940’s vintage, all-brass shower head offered for sale on eBay. I was amazed at how closely it resembled today’s ultra low flow shower heads, which are being manufactured by the millions in China (mostly out of plastic, of course) and distributed throughout the USA.

So I bought it to get a closer look.

As you can see in the photos below, the overall size and design of the two shower heads are very much alike. But there are a couple of very big differences:

1) The size of the nozzles of the antique shower head is significantly larger in diameter than those of 2014, 1.75 GPM model, and
2) The 2014 shower head has 43 nozzles vs 75 nozzles for the 1920 model.

Prior to 1993, there were no government restrictions as to how much water a shower head could flow, so performance was everything. The watering can design they used in the 1940’s shower heads worked very well with flow rates well over 2.5 GPM, but when the same design is used to make a water-saving shower head in 2014, the smaller and fewer nozzles required for low flow result in a very weak and ineffective shower.

For that reason, most people are very dissatisfied with the new ultra low flow shower heads, which are literally miniaturized copies of much higher flowing shower heads.

The High Sierra Showerhead is truly the first and only modern shower head specifically designed to deliver a strong, effective shower from less than 2 gpm. The patented single nozzle design breaks up a low pressure stream of water into a full spray of large droplets. It is the size of the droplets that gives the spray its strength. The single nozzle design will never clog up from minerals in the water, unlike the new multi-nozzle low flow designs, which must be constantly cleaned.

Only High Sierra Shower Heads can rightfully claim that its 1.5 GPM flow is pleasantly strong and, in many cases, works better than 2.5 GPM shower heads. When shopping for shower heads, beware of outdated technology!