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Aqua Cera
Non-Electric, Non-Pressurized, Gravity Fed
Counter-top units for home,
RVs, cabins, camp site, travel

Non-Electric, Portable & Hand Held
Units for home, RVs, cabins, backpacking,
hiking, travel, camp sites, high volumn users

History of the gravity-fed ceramic water purifiers
It all started with:

Making Water Fit for Kings, Queens & Presidents Since 1827

Throughout history, man has been plagued by the poisons, toxins and contaminants in his drinking water. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians used large "barrel" water filters filled with sand and powdered carbon from special mixtures of burnt wood. We've come a long way since then. Jump forward 5900 years:

About 170 years ago, the legendary craftsmen of fine Royal Doulton ceramics were already making water filters effective enough to rid river water of cholera bacteria, rendering it fit to drink.

Water borne diseases are, even today, are the major cause of death world wide.

The first known major production of gravity-fed (just pour water in the top and it leaches out the contaminants) water purifiers/filters can be traced back to the Doulton potters.

History of Doulton Water Filters

1815: John Doulton was taken into partnership by the widow Martha Jones who had inherited from her late husband a pottery shop in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, by the side of the Thames River. Her foreman John Watts was also taken into partnership and the firm became Jones, Watts and Doulton.

The original company produced the Doulton brand of English china and other fine ceramics. Employing students from the Lambeth School of Arts, the company inaugurated a long tradition of artist-designed fine ceramics that bore comparison with any in Europe.

"Offensive to the sight, disgusting to the imagination and destructive to the health." This was how London drinking water, which was drawn from the Thames, was described in a pamphlet published in 1827. The Thames was heavily contaminated with raw sewage; cholera and typhoid epidemics were rampant.

Coincidentally, this was also the year in which the company started expanding their ceramic technology to industrial and other specialized applications such as insulators for electrical telegraph.

In response to public awareness of the danger of the polluted water, they began making water filter cases packed with powdered carbon.

1827: Henry Doulton (John Doulton's son) developed ceramic filters for removing bacteria from drinking water. The first Doulton® water filters were made using various earth and clay materials. By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, Doulton was well established as a manufacturer of domestic and industrial products in a fine stoneware body that bore comparison with any in Europe.

1835: Queen Victoria recognized the present health dangers in her drinking water and commissioned Doulton to produce a water filter for the Royal household. Doulton created a gravity fed stoneware filter that combined the technology of a ceramic filter with the artistry of a hand crafted pottery water container.

1846: The Lambeth factory was in the vanguard of the revolution in sanitation technology and products which Chadwick, and the great reformers of the day, brought to metropolitan England. Without the hard work and foresight of Henry Doulton that revolution would have been delayed by decades.

1862: Henry Doulton introduced the Doulton® Manganous Carbon water filter. Doulton's Research and Development department, headed by Henry Doulton, created micro porous ceramic (diatomaceous earth) cartridges capable of removing bacteria with better than 99% efficiency.

Doulton Filters were rapidly adopted by the military, Crown Agents, hospitals, laboratories and domestic users throughout the world. Doulton filters shown at the Kensington International Exhibition proudly wore the Royal arms of Queen Victoria.

1882: Henry Doulton acquired a small factory in the Midlands, motherland of the Staffordshire potteries and the home of the Doulton Drinking Water Purifier.

1901: King Edward VII knighted Henry Doulton

1902: King Edward VII conferred the double honor of the royal warrant and the specific - as opposed to the assumed - right to use the title "Royal" for his work on drinking water filtration.This Royal Warrant authorized the company to use the word ROYAL in reference to its products.

1906: Doulton introduced a filter that proved to be strong enough to remove all known bacteria. It was rapidly adopted by hospitals, laboratories and for use in domestic water filtration throughout the world. The popularity and effectiveness of even the early 20th century designs has resulted in their continued use world wide.Doulton® ceramics are now in use in over 150 countries.

1919: British Berkefeld® was previously owned by Berkefeld-Filter, a German company that started manufacturing filters in the late 1800’s. Berkefeld-Filter was awarded to Slack & Brownlow as part of reparations by the League of Nations after World War I, and at that time the name was then changed to British Berkefeld® to show the products were now of British manufacture.

1935: Doulton acquired the old-established works of George Skey & Co. at Tamworth, Staffs which produced drain pipes, chimney pots, general and chemical stoneware and terracotta. The reason was to transfer the industrial and technical products from Lambeth works and transform the factory, but the war intervened and plans were delayed until the 1950's.

1956: (after 100+ years) the Lambeth works were finally closed and the Tamworth Company was named Doulton Industrial Porcelains Ltd.

1963: Aerox Ltd. from Stroud, Gloucester, an industrial filtration company, was acquired and subsequently integrated with the filter division of Doulton Industrial Porcelains.

1966: Doulton & Co. purchased the Caulden works of Richards Caulden Tile Ltd. from Stone, Staffs. The manufacture of porcelain insulators was retained and the remaining technical ceramics business transferred to the Stone site. The factory at Tamworth was renamed Doulton Insulators Ltd. and that at Stone became Doulton Industrial Products (DIP) which it become an agent for Doulton & Co. in relation to the porous ceramics and plastics, special technical ceramics, fluidization and filtration plant and powder handling departments.

1972: Doulton was taken over by Pearson and Son Ltd., which restructured several of their divisions under the Doulton group.

1975: new research and development centre was established in Burslam and Aerox activities were transferred to Stone.

1980: Pearson group purchased Fairey Holdings from the National Enterprise Board.

1982: The glass and sanitary-ware divisions of the Doulton group were disposed of , the Doulton group disbanded, and Doulton Engineering brought under the management of Fairey.

1985: The company changed its name to Fairey Industrial Ceramics Ltd.

1985: Slack & Brownlow were then acquired by Portals Water Treatment (now Portacel) and the domestic water filter division was acquired by Doulton Industrial Products, the manufacturer of Royal Doulton® water filters. The company acquired the domestic water filter business of Portacel and the rights to the trademarks Berkefeld (later changed to British Berkefeld) and Sterasyl. Berkefeld line of water filters comprised of single candle pressure filters.

1986: Fairey Group Ltd. became independent of Pearson by a management buy-out.

1988: Fairey became publicly-quoted company as Fairey Group plc. with the following divisions:

  • Electronics and electrical power (including Doulton and Allied insulators)
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Filtration (including Doulton, Aerox and British Berkefeld) and specialised ceramics (including Fairey Industrial Ceramics).

1990: Doulton and Berkefeld domestic water filters received the Queen's award for export achievement.

1999: Doulton signs contract with New Millennium for U.S. Distribution.
go here for info on New Millennium Concepts LTD

2003: Rolls Royce plc. acquired Fairy Industrial Ceramics Ltd. from Fairey Group plc. in mid , retained the aerospace ceramic casting division and spun off the ceramic filtration, ceramic crossflow membranes and other specialty ceramics divisions. By the end of the same year FICL moved to a new modern ISO 9000 certified facility in New Castle upon Tyne just a few miles north of the Stone facilities.

Doulton's Extensive Development Laboratories are continually setting new standards in water quality throughout the world. Their commitment to quality has been demonstrated by achieving ISO 9002* certification, tested and approved by:

  • The British Standard 5750
  • The World Health Organization
  • Department of Health (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Water Research Council (London, England)
  • University of Arizona (USA)
  • Spectrum Labs (Minneapolis, USA)
  • WRC (Buckingham Shire, England)
  • National Sanitation Foundation (Standards 42 & 53, USA)
  • Hyder Labs, Cheshire England
  • Loughborough University, England
  • Thresh, Beale & Suckling Laboratories, England.
  • Clare Microbiological Laboratories, England
  • Severn Trent Laboratories, England
  • And Many Other Independent Laboratories Worldwide

Today, over a million Doulton units are sold each year in over 150 countries around the globe, where Doulton is a household name synonymous with clean, healthy drinking water.

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