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A History of Master Plumber Lillian Baumbach

The “Pretty Plumber” 

If the name Lillian Baumbach doesn’t ring a bell, it should. She was the first woman master plumber who made great strides in the plumbing industry. Industry leaders are here to tell homeowners all about her. 

She was born in Arlington on January 4, 1930. At 6 years old, she traded her dolls for wrenches and was a regular helper to her plumber father by 12. She traveled with him to service calls and brought a big name to her father’s company, Baumbach Plumbers of Arlington.

A Female Master Plumber in the Making

The idea of a woman carrying around a large pipe and doing a man’s job was rare and unheard of. Women plumbers were extremely unusual at the time. When Lilliam Baumbach decided that’s what she wanted to do, she graduated Washington-Lee High School in 1947 and went on to take the test to become a Master Plumber and receive her certification. 

plumbing woman

She once said, “On the mechanical side, I think the work is too heavy for a woman.” She had acted as a receptionist for a while, only doing diagnostics and assigning the heavier work to men. 

Plenty of Letters


When word got out that Lilliam Baumbach had become a female Master Plumber, she began to receive letters from all over the world. When the letters arrived, they were addressed to “The Pretty Plumber.” She received letters from Korea, France, Australia, Alaska, The United States, and more. It was then that she became the pan pal to over 250 men. Almost all of the letters asked for pictures, her hand in marriage, and even advice on plumbing problems. During the Korean War, she became a designated military pin-up girl, went on two television shows, a radio broadcast, and became a cover girl for a national plumbing magazine. 

The only man to get her attention enough to marry was George W. “Bill” Jacobs. They had two daughters and lived together for 26 years. She was then elected as president of her father’s plumbing company until she retired in 1989. 

Paving the Way For Women Everywhere

Lillian left a legacy. She went on to look over her father’s plumbing company and paved a road for women who want to get into the industry. Unfortunately, women only make up 1.1 percent of plumbers in the United States. 

Lillian showed women everywhere that they are just as capable of being a plumber as a man is. Additionally, she showed that women can run a plumbing business. It’s not rare to see a woman owning a plumbing company in this day and age. There are also perks to having a woman-owned company, such as Federal grants. 

As long as the person applying is a U.S. citizen, their business is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and the business is managed mostly by one or more women, they can qualify for certain programs. 

About S and J Plumbing

S and J Plumbing is a company based out of Arlington Heights, IL. They offer various services, including 24/hour emergency service and coupons on their website for discounts on products and services. Call now for expert plumbing service.