When Was the First Flush Toilet Invented


Have you ever wondered why someone says they need to “take a crap” when they go to the toilet? It is because the man who made the flush toilet a famous and wanted commodity in the average home was named Thomas Crapper. He worked hard to improve the flush toilet, including the addition of the ballcock. He also produced a number of manhole covers under his business name, which means they have the name “Crapper” on them, which makes them a fascinating tourist attraction in Westminster Abbey.

The true inventor of the flush toilet, however, is thought to have been invented by John Harrington in 1596. Harrington was a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court and was known for poetry and artwork primarily. It’s because of this that people also go to the “John” in the US. King Minos, who lived on Crete, is believed to have had the first flushing toilet.

Because Harrington in only credited with this one invention, let’s take a look at some of the important inventions in toilet history.

1. Toilet Paper

It wasn’t until 1857 that the first packaged toilet paper hit stores shelves. It came from the inventive mind of Joseph Gayetty and was originally called “Gayetty’s Medicated Paper.” About two decades later, a British paper company created a product that had pre-cut squares and the Scott Paper Company began selling toilet paper on a roll. By 1942, the first two-ply toilet paper was being used.

2. Toilet Brushes

In order to have a hygienic experience, a toilet bowl needs to be cleaned every now and then. The Addis Brush Company is given credit for the first true toilet brushes and what makes it notable is the fact that they used the same equipment to make artificial Christmas trees. The initial brushes were made from animal furs, but this was quickly changed over to palm and palmyra brushes because they were much sturdier.

3. Pongtu

One of the worst problems there is with having a toilet is when the S-trap gets clogged. This can happen from waste, paper, or even large toys if you’ve got toddlers in the house. Instead of using a rubber plunger, a new invention called the Pongtu offers some help. This innovative product places a water tight seal over the bowl of the toilet and uses the water pressure from flushing to dislodge the clog. This means you don’t have to be exposed to contaminated toilet water while you plunge, but you might not want to be around if the seal breaks on your Pongtu.

4. Water Saving Features

Some of the older toilets used a lot of water to flush the bowl. Sometimes it was upwards of 5 gallons per flush. That’s a lot of fresh drinking water that’s just going down the drain. Modern technology allows for flushing to occur when there is as little as 1 gallon of water present. With dual jet propulsion that speeds up water rotation in the bowl, the same clean bowl can happen without the issue of having waste build up on it.

What's a Toilet Worth?