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This term refers to three devices: one ancient and two modern.
1. A water thief is a rubber fitting that attaches to an unthreaded faucet on one end and a common garden hose on the other. It is commonly used to fill fresh water tanks in recreational vehicles when a threaded hose bib is not available.
3. Another device, used in antiquity, was called a "water thief," or clepsydra. Carl Sagan describes it in his book Cosmos as: "A brazen sphere with an open neck and small holes in the bottom, it is filled by immersing it in water. If you pull it out with the neck uncovered, the water pours out of the holes, making a small shower. But if you pull it out properly, with the neck covered, the water is retained in the sphere until you lift your thumb."
- Carl Sagan, (1980), Cosmos, pp. 179–80. Random House
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