The first flush toilet was invented by Tomas Crapper in 1884. It was
first presented in a large Health Exhibition in London. The items that
were used in the original “flush-test” were four tests that consisted of 3
wads of paper, a sponge, 4 greased paper sheets and 10 apples. As these
items were tossed in one after the other, the crowd was surprised by this
great break- through in toilet efficiency.
No, Mr. Crapper did not invent the toilet, he was the first to make a
practical and efficient system to rid someone of waste. There were many
prior toilet designs and types used. Some of these consisted of the
compost toilet (which consisted of using heat to evaporate sewage and out a
pipe), an oil-flushed toilet (this used recyclable mineral oil, but was
not-efficient enough), the bioelectric toilet (which used heat and
circulating air to clean waste), incinerating toilet (these reduced waste
to ash), biological toilets (which used enzymes to dissolve waste), and
finally the earth closet (a pit like well that sealed the waste in soil
All of these methods created were all inefficient in some way. Whether
is was the smell, the inability to get rid of the waste, the slowness, or
the tremendous energy put into it for every bow- movement. The basic
mechanism was very simple–it was made of a float, a metal arm and a
siphonic action to empty the reservoir of water.
In the beginning of this method was not popular and the flush toilet
was given the name “Valveless Water Waste Prevented”. The slogan used to
sell this product was “Certain Flush with easy Pull. Will Flush when only
Two-Thirds Full”. Today, every toilet (or similar flushing thing) is based
on Tomas Crapper’s original model.
This invention defiantly changed the world and made it a MUCH more
sanitary place! This breakthrough has unarguably saved thousands of lives
since its creation. Before this toilet, there was such highly unsanitary
conditions that a hugh cholera epidemic in London in mid 19th century
claimed 30,000 lives!
I learned many things from this report, I think one important thing is
how surprised I was that this flushable-toilet was not invented a long time
ago! Can you imagine what the world would be like without the efficient
flush toilets we have today ? Think of this the next time you make a pun
of the name “Crapper”.