We all use the toilet several times a day on a daily basis. It is one of those things that most people never think about in depth and it might even be something that we take for granted. Although most of us have convenient, modern bathrooms, years ago, people had to use the bathroom outside and there was no toilet available. Here is a brief history of the toilet, which can help you to realize how long we have come to having modern conveniences and plumbing:
Toilets During The Ancient World
During this time period, toilets were significantly different than they are now. Only the wealthiest people had toilets and bathroom facilities in their homes. Their toilet seats were made of limestone. Many poor people didn’t have toilets at all, but instead had stools with holes underneath them.
As the years passed during the ancient periods, toilets that actually flushed and connected to plumbing were introduced.
Toilets During The Middle Ages
Toilets during this time period were very simple, often consisting of a wooden seat placed over a hole in the ground. Some people even built bathrooms with toilets over rivers.
Toilets During Modern Times
A modern, flushing toilet inside a home was considered to be a luxury up until sometime during the 19th century. In 1596, the first flushing toilet was invented by Sir John Harrington. Despite this invention, many people continued to use cess pits or chamber pots. In 1775, Alex Cumming received a patent for inventing the first flushing lavatory. In 1778, a gentleman by the name of Joseph Brahmah improved the design.
By the end of the 19th century, indoor flushing toilets became more commonplace. However, it wasn’t until early during the 20th century before indoor flushing toilets became popular in rural areas.
During the early 19th century, unless a household was of a higher economic status, a working indoor toilet was often not available. Households often had to share toilets, and it was often necessary for household members to place their names on waiting lists just to use indoor flushing toilets.
The toilet pans during the early 19th century were very colorful and attractive. Made from porcelain, toilets (toilet pans) during this time were decorated using bright colors and creative designs.
The first toilet bowl was boxed in, but by 1883, there was a patent for bolted toilet bowls.
In London, in 1852, the first public toilet bowl was introduced, but it wasn’t until more than 50 years later that soft toilet paper was introduced.
Toilets today aren’t always as available as many people may believe. In poor and underdeveloped countries, many people don’t have access to hygienic toilets. This prompted the creation of the World Toilet Organization, in an effort to make hygienic toilets available to everyone around the world.
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