Toilets. They may not be glorious, but boy do we all depend on them on a daily basis. Just imagine what life would be like without them. Actually… don’t imaging that. That sounds terrible. Let’s learn about the history of the toilet. After this, you may have a little more appreciation for our humble porcelain pal.
Our First Toilets
The first toilet was actually created in 1596 but was a tool that did not become widely available and used until 1851. Before the modern plumbing phenomena ‘toilets’ mostly consisted of chamber pots and outhouses. Chamber pots in particular led to countless health issues as waste contents were dumped out into the street. This lead to wide spread disease and even contributed to the Black Plague.
John Harrington installed the first toilet of 1596 for his godmother Queen Elizabeth I, but future royalty King Edward VII found another man by the name of Thomas Crapper to install his bathroom throne and several others. Thomas Crapper is often accredited with the creation of the toilet, but this isn’t true, he simply gained the patent and helped spread the toilet around 19th century England. It all caught on from there.
Bathroom technology we know today didn’t come around till the early 20th century, and the toilet in particular underwent many transformations in style and functionality. The toilet paper roll didn’t become widely used until 1902. Even now there are adjustments to our porcelain thrones. In 1994 the government passed a law for ‘low flow toilets’ that required half the use of water in a single flush. In early development these toilets caused a lot of trouble, but they’ve become much better over time. Now there are toilets that flush at the touch of a button, or automatically to avoid further bacteria and germ spreading. Who knows what the future holds for our trusty bathroom companion?