In 1859 the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association was established in London, England to provide free drinking water. The first fountain was erected in London in 1859 and became an immediate success and many subsequent fountains were placed opposite pubs or churchyards.
By 1867 there were over 800 drinking fountains in UK, and ornamental and memorial fountains were donated by private benefactors. The name was changed to include cattle troughs in support of animal welfare: The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association (M.D.F.C.T.A.).
As horse traffic declined due to the invention of the motor car, troughs were no longer built, and with the concern over hygiene the metal cups were replaced with bubblers (water jet). During the First World War, the UK government licensed pub hours and beer was watered down.