The History of the Toilet

San Mateo PlumberIf you live in the United States, it is almost unheard of to live in a home without a toilet. However, living without today’s comforts were never missed when there was no knowledge of such pleasantries.

Many people born in the early 1900s remember days without indoor plumbing very well. Trudging to the outhouse in the dead of winter or finding a snake curled up in the bottom of the latrine, are memories that do not quickly fade.

Invention of the Flush Toilet

The first flush toilet was invented by John Harington in 1596, and was put to use in his own home.

Called the Ajax, after the British slang term ‘jakes’ for toilet, the name evolved to ‘john’ in the Western World, after its inventor. Perhaps ahead of his time, the idea of the flush toilet failed to catch on with the public.

Renewing an Old Idea

For the next 1802 years, little was recognized in using bathroom fixtures in the home. In 1778, Joseph Bramah patented the first water closet, eliminating the need for a chamber pot. To have a private room for taking care of business, brought about a renewed interest in the flush toilet.

George Jennings also took out a patent for a flush-out toilet in 1852. However, it took the creativity of Thomas Crapper to sell this idea in England.

Using Sanitation as a Motive

San Mateo Toilet-HistoryCrapper promoted sanitary plumbing as a way to decrease disease and sickness from the contact of human waste. He also designed rooms that had both sinks and toilets for adequate cleaning.

In the 1880s, Prince Edward was so impressed with this new plumbing idea that he contracted Crapper to build 30 enclosed lavatories with sinks and toilets with cedar-lined seats.

Having a background as a plumber, Thomas Crapper continued to improve the toilet with 9 patents that were handed down to his nephew, George, who continued to improve the original idea of the siphonic flush toilet.

The sanitary nature, plus skills in plumbing, created a practical and necessary reason why the toilet could be advantageous.

Plumbing and the right knowledge of sanitation helped to deliver what most people consider a must in the home today.

If you live in the San Mateo area, and are having toilet troubles, Call Caccia Plumbing Inc. at (650) 376-6800 and find out how you can get your toilet back!