In our previous article, History of The Toilet, Part One, we discussed where the word toilet came from. Additionally, we tracked the history of the toilet from our prehistoric ancestors to the Renaissance Period. In this article, we discuss the history of the toilet, part two – focusing on the modern toilet and how it became popular for each house to have one.

Industrial Revolution

Sir John Harrington invented the first flush toilet during the Renaissance. Unfortunately, people did not widely use his version of the flush toilet. This is because it was impractical for those who did not have the financial means to install it. The modern flushing toilet did not become popular until 1775. In 1775, Alexander Cummings invented the S-shaped pipe we still use today. The “S pipe” prevents back-flow and odor from escaping the toilet.

During the Industrial Revolution of the United Kingdom, many people started to move from villages into cities for economic reasons. Unfortunately, this sudden increase in population led to unsanitary conditions. For example, sometimes hundreds of people had to share one single toilet.

To combat the unsanitary conditions, the United Kingdom passed laws mandating that new dwellings come with a flushable toilet. This mandate also led to the first sewer systems being built.  Since this was a period where the United Kingdom had colonies throughout the modern world, the standard of having a private toilet in the house became a common practice as well.

Who is Thomas Crapper?

Thomas Crapper lived from 1836 until 1910.  As mentioned in our previous article, contrary to popular belief, Thomas Crapper did not invent the modern flushing toilet.  Thomas Crapper, however, did have many patents that modernized the toilet and are still in use today.  Due to his patents, the king commissioned Thomas Crapper to create a series of public lavatories that connected to a sewage system. Historians dubbed Thomas Crapper shrewd businessman, because he included his name on these public lavatories and the subsequent manhole covers needed to access the sewage system.  This has led to the popular belief as to why his name has become synonymous with using the toilet, despite evidence to the contrary.

Today’s Toilet

Although the modern flushing toilet got its start in the United Kingdom, it was not until it was fully adopted in the United States did it become used by the masses.  The United States had the advantage of being a newer country, so as it began to grow in its own Industrial Revolution, newer cities were able to be built with sewer systems already installed.  This led to the mass production of toilets in the United States thus making them more affordable and available.

Need a Toilet

Toilets are so common that they are a must-have requirement in any commercial or residential building.  Toilets come in multiple ranges, sizes, and colors.  There are even high-tech toilets that have many electronic features.  Regardless of the reason, if you are in the market for a toilet, the experts at Conyer’s Plumbing have a wide-range of toilets available and will be more than happy to find a toilet in your budget.