In this TV show we took a look at how product changes has taken sink plumbing from an art to a simple DIY task.
The original steel pipes were cut and threaded to exact lengths with just no room for error. This required not only skill, but large cutters and threaders. When we moved to copper pipe it got easier to cut the pipe and soldering was easier than threading, but the length still had to be just about right on as the copper was soldered right into the base of the faucets.
That was eventually replaced with special connector tubes of semi flexible copper that made the transition from the ridged piping to the faucet a bit more adjustable. But if you ever worked with that stuff you know that it often bent and kinked and if you tried to tighten a compression washer too many times, it began to leak and need total replacement.
Finally today you can buy what we call "speed ways", totally flexible plastic tubes, often covered in protective woven metal jackets that simply screw onto the piping and onto the faucet, with very little concern for how those two are lined up.