This recent exhibit now being displayed is at our Broad Street offices. The presentation demonstrates that these types of artifacts are created in a variety of sizes and metals. The exhibit presents five spigot-type objects from the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County’s collection.

five spigot-type objects

A spigot is a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container, or at least that is how it is defined in a dictionary. This wasn’t a new concept. The Greeks and Romans developed spigots for use in sophisticated plumbing systems. The oldest faucets have been documented in the Minoan Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. Faucets attached to terra cotta pipes to supply water were used as early as 1700 B.C.E. The faucets used in this ancient plumbing system were made from precious materials such as gold, marble and silver.  Spigots were developed for use in the United States between 1879 and 1911. In my research on the United States, I found many applications for patenting spigots and faucets.

Ancient Greeks and Romans first used spigots in their bathhouses for obtaining water from aqueducts, routing it into pipes and buildings, and finally into their tubs or baths. These spigots (also identified as faucets or taps) are five of the artifacts in the Wine History Project collection that are either made of wood or metal and were used in wine, beer, or spirits casks/barrels. We identify these specifically from being actively utilized during 1860-1910.  These are all made of metals.

Brass, bronze, metal, copper, and stainless-steel wine spouts and spigots are in a range of small, medium and larger sizes and have a gradually narrowing threaded for wooden wine barrels, kegs, and casks. The small and medium-sized brass of the threaded taps, spouts and spigots are ideal to be fitted to small, medium, and larger wooden barrels and apothecary glass, porcelain, and ceramic jars. They were used for wine, olive and vinegar oils, whiskey, beer, cider, juices; both storing and dispensing these liquids.