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The Flushing Toilet

1061 of 1160 nominations

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The Flushing Toilet

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The Flushing Toilet

More vital in the development of civilisation than the wheel and more important in the history of health than vaccination, the flushing toilet is one of the truly great inventions.

Although Ancient China, Minoan Crete, the Roman Empire and Renaissance Italy all have claims to be the birthplace of the flushing toilet, the development of this marvellous system is undeniably an English affair. All of the water closet pioneers have been English – what does this obsession with sanitary hygiene say about us a nation? John Harington, a writer and godson of Queen Elizabeth I, built the first flushing water closet at his own home in 1596 and was soon called upon to install one at the Royal Palace. Alexander Cummings, a watchmaker, patented the S-trap in 1775 that sorted out the problem of foul smells rising out of the sewer pipe. In 1819 Joseph Giblin produced the “Silent Valveless Water Waste Preventer”, a siphon discharge system less prone to leaks. During the 1880s plumber Thomas Crapper began manufacturing toilets that soon became the standard model. By 1885 Thomas Twyford had produced the prototype for what we have today, the one-piece china toilet. National heroes all.

NOMINATION 1061 OF 1160

Your comments

A great British invention and one of Stoke-on-Trent's contributions to the world.

angela.lee


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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