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The History of the Toilet

The Hrsterg of the Tateit Toilet П Ever since mankind first appeared on this shiny blue marble we call planet earth there has been a need for us to use the toilet. Of course, back then the toilet was little more than a hole in the ground - if that - whereas today we've come to rely on the toilet as both a necessity and a source of comfort. When you're sitting there on the toilet you're probably not thinking of the history of the throne beneath you, but why would you? The modern toilet does everything we want it to, and while we have come to take modern toilets and plumbing systems for granted we tend to forget that what we're sitting on is a relatively recent development. The toilet itself isn't though; it's gone through much iteration over the thousands of years of Human history. Indeed, it may surprise you to learn that some ancient civilisations actually had well developed toilet systems - in other words, no, they didn't just do it in the street. So, come with us on a journey from the fascinating - and often messy - HISTORY OF THE TOILET. ATICEZIT TOOLZTS *Ancient Toilets Whoever invented the toilet has probably been lost to history, but historians and archaeologists have found some contenders. The Contenders. 00 00 Up in Scotland archaeologists dug up a Ancient Egypt went one step further and adopted toilet seats made of Neolithic settlement that Elsewhere on the Greek limestone; on top of a dates all the way back to island of Crete, and container filled with sand 3,000 B.C. The stone huts jumping forward to 1,700 B.C. the splendid Palace of Knossos featured quite an advanced system of earthenware pans | connected to a water supply which ran through terracotta pipes. The which was emptied by hand (ew!). Wealthy people discovered had small drains built into them that would have a dedicated extended from recesses in room for the toilet in their the walls. It is believed homes, heralding the rise of the bathroom. Poor these were used for toilet purposes. people simply had to make do with a wooden stool toilet was even flushed that had a hole cut into it, with water. but at least it was better than squatting in the street! When in Romei poo as the Romans poo! The Romans weren't the first civilisation to adopt a sewer system but they created the most advanced seen so far. The Romans understood the importance of hygiene and realised that mixing what came out of their bodies in their drinking water supplies wasn't such a good idea. Let's not forget that public bathhouses were the place to be for your average Roman citizen, so they did somewhat care about their hygiene and appearance. Romans still ended up throwing their waste in the streets, but Rome itself had around 144 communal lavatories - long benches with holes in them (and no cubicles like we're used to) - dotted around the city. It sounds like going to the toilet was quite the social activity! Middle Ages Sit Down You'd think that by the time the Middle Ages rolled around that toilets and plumbing systems would have improved dramatically but you'd be wrong, and strangely things were far worse off. Since the fall of the Roman Empire the sewage system they had developed wasn't adopted across Europe, unless you count throwing your leavings on to the street as some kind of rudimentary open sewer system. Instead Europeans tended to have communal outhouses that could be shared by dozens of families. This `outhouse' was little more than a wooden bench with a hole cut in it, over a pit that you probably wouldn't want to sniff up around on a hot summer's day. Strangely it was monks who took the initiative in the toilet department, using stone or wooden lavatories that opened out over rivers. C'mon, C'mon there are People waiting! There's someone in here Castles also had places called garderobes, a sort of cloakroom that also included a basic toilet. People wanting to visit the toilet would squat over a tiny hole, do their thing, and the waste would slip down a chute into the moat surrounding the castle or a cesspit set up for the purpose. With all this said it's safe to assume why we don't really hear about many people swimming around the castle moats of the time. SORRY! OH DEAR GOD. i0000ON Eventually the smell of a toilet would start to put off those of the royalty who had figured out that even the smell from a royal toilet was no bed of roses. Louis XI, king of France from 1461, had a box with a I'D GIVE IT A MINUTE IFI WERE YOU! SACRE BLEU! lid that he would hide behind curtains and cover with herbs to make sure it smelt a little nicer. Elizabeth I, Queen of England from 1559, tried to make her toilet look a bit, well, less like a toilet by covering it in crimson velvet bound with lace. THE ADVENT OF THE MODERN FLUSHING TOILET One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to the history of the toilet is that Thomas Crapper is responsible for inventing the beginning of the modern flushing toilet. It's wrong of course, and before Thomas Crapper's parents were even born big strides were being made in toilet technology, indeed, life for the modern day throne began with the person who actually sat on the throne. So, who did what ? Sa, Jealovs guys? You do look little flushed Hey Tom, how come you get all the credit for inventing the toilet? Yeah Tom! It drives me rovnd the bend Sir John Harrington Alexander Cummings Thomas Crapper Queen Elizabeth l's godson, Sir John Harrington had published 'Metamorphosis of Ajax' in 1596. In this he The first patent for the flushing toilet was issued I to Alexander Cummings in 1775. Cummings, a Scottish watchmaker, designed the S-shaped trap (or bend) ! which acted as a sliding By the end of the 18th century the modern flushable toilets had hit the mainstream and were warming bums across the | country. This is where our man Thomas Crapper enters the scene. Hired by King Edward VII, Crapper was tasked with installing described a water closet that was made up of a raised cistern with a small pipe which water ran valve which allowed some through upon release by a valve. Despite attacking the Queen's close friend, Robert Dudley - 1st Earl of Leicester - in the publication, she did see fit to install one of the 'Ajax' inventions in her palace at Richmond, although they didn't enjoy much popularity on a wider scale across England : (although France was more susceptible). water to remain in the i bowl after flushing. This ! prevented sewer gases from entering buildings | and the excess water kept i the house from smelling like sewage and helped to clean the bowl after use. lavatories across several royal palaces. He did find | the time to patent some bathroom-related inventions and he was the first person to display | This S- shaped plumbing i design, survives in today's plumbing modified as a U or J-shaped pipe trap ! located below or within a bathroom wares in a showroom, inevitably upping his fame as people would come to him whenever they needed new parts. plumbing fixture. By the 20th century the toilet we all know and love today had arrived. The water tank now rested on top of the bowel rather than being high above it on the wall. Toilet paper rolls were also growing in popularity; thanks to a marketing push that began in 1902 - 12 years after someone decided toilet paper would suit a roll shape quite nicely. (We'll save the history of toilet paper for a whole other infographic). Toilets themselves wouldn't A typical working class outhouse • historians are unsure if this example is in Mexico or Yorkshire properly move inside to a specialised room - the bathroom - until decades into the 20th century. Most of the homes in England had to make use of outdoor toilets, which W*** LONFURTTUIEF GMAL CHIOTTES EL JE RID A were sometimes shared between a few families on the street. You can still spot some TOILETTE CONFOR of these outdoor toilets around the country today, especially in the terraced house properties that most of the country's working class occupied. Awww, C'mon. There's gotta be a toilet around here somewhere Toilets in the modern Zra While the basic function of today's modern toilet obviously remains the same, the companies that manufacturer them haven't stopped looking for ways to innovate in the toilet arena. We can thank Japan for making the toilet not just a place for "doing your business“ but an experience that you'll wonder how you ever did without. In 1980 the Japanese company Toto introduced the Washlet. This came equipped with a warm water spray - much like a bidet - that cleaned those sensitive areas with water rather than making the user grab a handful of toilet paper. From then on the Land of the Rising Sun hasn't looked back; introducing toilets with heated seats, the ability to play your music and even toilets capable of measuring your blood pressure, body fat and the healthy state of your urine and faeces. The Western world is slowly adopting these hi-tech toilets, and with more features announced every year it's clear to see that the history and evolution of toilets - the one throne we all get to sit on - isn't over just yet. No I gon't George Michael - I just want you to flush I'm sorry, Dave I'm afraid I can't w ant to listen to do that. Despite all the advancements though there are still around 2.5 billion people in the world who don't have access to a proper working toilet. Of those 2.5 billion, 1.1 billion still openly defecate in the street. The United Nations is working hard to try and vastly reduce these numbers by 2025, as diseases contracted from such things as open defecation and open latrine pits are the cause of a large percentage of deaths. Sources & Further Reading plumbworld Castle toilets. The Garderobe. Middle Ages Hygiene. Did Thomos Crapper invent the flush toilet? A timeline of toilets. The Public Latrines in Regio IV. Antica/Regio IV/forica.html The 6 most terrifying features of Japanese toilets The Toilet: An Unspoken History. /Lazio/Roma/Ostia/Ostia Antica/Regio IV/forico.html The Public Latrines in Regio IV. Ho-JuTT

The History of the Toilet

shared by antlangston on Sep 24
Everything you ever wanted to know about history of the toilet in a fancy infographic


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