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The First Flush Toilet

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 below).

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”.

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