The Toilet


Who invented the Toilet? The name of the person generally credited with inventing the Toilet is Thomas Crapper (1836 - 1910). However, this is not true, the flushing toilet was already in existence but Thomas Crapper was the man that promoted it and by inventing the bathroom showroom. Thomas Crapper held nine patents relating to the invention of the modern toilet including a patent for the 'water-waste-preventing cistern syphon' and the floating ballcock. Thomas Crapper gained the reputation as the premier sanitary engineer in London and was invited to supply the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII,  with his sanitary goods and services.

Who invented the Toilet? Crapper and Co. subsequently undertook the plumbing and drainage and fitted toilets, bathroom fittings, wash basins etc. at Sandringham House, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey. Crapper and Co. then received the accolade of receiving the royal warrant and Royal Appointment as sanitary engineers to the royals. The name of Thomas Crapper became forever synonymous with the toilet. This article details facts and information about the invention of the toilet and Thomas Crapper's rise to fame.


Facts about who invented the Toilet


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Definition of the Toilet: The Toilet is defined as a flush toilet, aka lavatory, that is cleaned of waste by the flow, or flush, of water through it that passes to a drainpipe and another location via a drain for disposal.

Fact 1: Who invented the Toilet? The history of the Toilet dates back to ancient times. The invention of some of the first simple toilets is credited to Mesopotamia in 4000 through 3000 BC. 

Fact 2: Who invented the Toilet? The Minoan civilization, based on the island of Crete and other Greek islands, were known to have a toilet with the capacity to flush c 2000 BC. Excavations at the Ancient Greek palace at Knossos indicated that water was used to wash the waste from the toilet into the sewer system of the palace.

Fact 3: Who invented the Toilet? The Ancient Romans adopted ideas from the Ancient Greeks. The ancient sewers of Rome c. 100 AD collected rainwater and sewage and developed a network of public lavatories. The Roman public toilet consisted of rooms lined with stone or wooden bench seats that were positioned over a sewer. Private toilets were installed in Roman villas and in some city apartments but were rarely connected to sewers and waste was emptied into pits or the gardens and fields. 

Fact 4: Who invented the Toilet? 476 AD marked the Fall of the Roman Empire falls and in Western Europe the Roman's sophisticated plumbing and sewer systems vanished for centuries. Holes in the ground and chamber pots were used.

Fact 5: Who invented the Toilet? During the 11th century there was a boom in castle building boom and an early form of the indoor toilet was included in Medieval castle architecture. There were various names for the Medieval toilet or latrine including the Garderobe, Privy chamber, the jakes and the gong. The Medieval toilet had no window and was fitted with a stone or a wooden bench with 4 - 6 holes in it. Chutes were provided for the waste which often led to the castle moat or a cess pits, which are cleaned by men called gong farmers.

Fact 6: Who invented the Toilet? In 1596 Sir John Harrington (1561 - 1612), a godson of Queen Elizabeth I, invented the flushing toilet and his invention was used by the Queen. The first flushing toilet, or water closet, invented by Sir John Harrington consisted of a pan with an opening at the bottom that was sealed with a leather faced valve. A system of handles, levers and weights poured in water from a cistern and opened the valve. The invention failed to catch on and people continued to use chamber pots that were simply emptied from a window to the street.

Fact 7: Who invented the Toilet? Nearly 200 hundred years later in 1775 Alexander Cumming (1733 - 1814) was the first inventor to patent a design of the flush toilet that detailed the Strap, a sliding valve between the bowl and the trap.

Fact 8: Who invented the Toilet? In 1778 Joseph Brahmah (1748 - 1814) improved the Alexander Cumming design. The Joseph Brahmah toilet had a valve at the bottom of the bowl that worked on a hinge, it was a predecessor to the modern ballcock.

Fact 9: Who invented the Toilet? In 1870, Thomas Twyford a Pottery manufacturer in England created the single piece, ceramic flush toilet.

Fact 10: Who invented the Toilet? Also in 1870 Thomas Crapper (1836 - 1910), the man generally associated with inventing the flushing Toilet, improved the design of the WC (Water Closet) now known as toilet and creating the first ever ‘bathroom showroom’ to display them.

Fact 11: Who invented the Toilet? Thomas Crapper, was baptised on 28 September 1836 in Waterside, Thorne, Yorkshire, England died on 27 January 1910.

Fact 12: Who invented the Toilet? The early years of Thomas Crapper were spent in Waterside, Thorne, Yorkshire, England where he was raised by his family. Thomas Crapper received a basic education and apprenticed to his brother who was a Master Plumber in Chelsea, London.

Fact 13: Who invented the Toilet? In 1860 Thomas Crapper married Maria Green (1837–1902) and the couple went on to have two childrem

Fact 14: Who invented the Toilet? Having served his plumbing apprenticeship and taking up responsibilities as a married man Thomas Crapper established his own company at Robert Street in Chelsea in 1861.

Fact 15: Who invented the Toilet? Thomas Crapper, an ambitious man, wanted to expand his business and in 1868 took a partner, Robert Marr Wharam, who had the financial backing and accounting skills required to help him grow the business and establish his own brass foundry and workshops.

Fact 16: Who invented the Toilet? Thomas Crapper & Co opened a bathroom showroom in the Kings Road, Chelsea to showcase his sanitary goods and services. These included his new inventions that included the 'water-waste-preventing cistern syphon'. The bathroom showroom included plumbed-in toilets, so customers could see how the flush worked. This was a highly innovative idea and incredibly shocking to the prim and proper Victorians.

Fact 17: Who invented the Toilet? News of the bathroom showroom spread (controversy always sells!) but people were impressed and before long Thomas Crapper gained the reputation as the premier sanitary engineer in London.

Fact 18: Who invented the Toilet? The business exploded when Edward, the Prince of Wales, gave Thomas Crapper & Co the contract to install plumbing and drainage at the royal palaces and castles. The prim Victorians were also snobbish and when Thomas Crapper was awarded royal warrants wealthy Victorians clamored for his services and goods.

Fact 19: Who invented the Toilet? Thomas Crapper became a very wealthy man and retired in 1903 following the death of his wife Maria in 1902.

Fact 20: Who invented the Toilet? In 1903 Thomas Crapper handed his business over to his partner Robert M. Wharam and his nephew George Crapper who opened yet another bathroom showroom at 120 King's Road, Chelsea

Fact 21: Who invented the Toilet? Thomas Crapper died on 27 January 1910 and was at Elmer's End Cemetery, next to his beloved wife. Little did he know that his name would go down in history as the inventor of the toilet.

Fact 20 - Impact: How did the Toilet impact the world? The impact of the invention of the Toilet was a significant step to improving the field of Household Items.

Who invented the Toilet? Now you know that Thomas Crapper was the person who invented the Toilet! We hope that the facts in this article have provided the answers to all of your questions about the invention of the Toilet and its famous inventor, Thomas Crapper.

Thomas Crapper Fact File: Country of Origin: England *** Name of Inventor: Thomas Crapper *** Nationality of Inventor: English *** Date of Invention: 1870 *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1836 - 1910 *** Invention Era: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Type: Household Items ***

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