History Of Toilets And Of Toilet Paper

by Dan | Last Updated: January 18, 2021

The History Of Toilets

The history of toilets is an interesting one. Long before the invention of the flushing toilet, even before the Bible was written, human beings had to dig holes in the ground whenever they had to relieve themselves.

This became a huge dilemma as the population grew. This brought about the urge of inventing ways of managing human waste.

By 2500 BC, Egypt came up with bathrooms with latrines. They used a bucket of water to flush the waste by hand.

Rome came up with a stone seat with a hole in the middle that drained into a sewer system named cloxa maxima.

In London, a garderobe (bank of toilets) was constructed but was only for the rich. The poor used to throw their waste out in the streets through the window or door.

Who Invented The Toilet?

The flushing toilet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harington who was a godson to Queen Elizabeth I. However, at this time, toilets were barely spoken of and, therefore, couldn’t be promoted.

One plumber,however, Thomas Crapper, beat the odds and came up with a showroom where he displayed sanitary wear. He also popularized the idea of installing the toilet inside the house.

Consequently, he earned himself the title ‘’the advocate of sanitary plumbing,’’ alongside several royal awards. People also started calling the flush toilet a Crapper.

History Of Toilet Paper

It’s quite intriguing that it took close to three decades after the invention of the flushing toilet to come up with the tissue paper.

Having not contributed anything to the invention of the flushing toilet, America eventually grabbed the opportunity and offered the world with something to wipe.

What Did People Use Before The Invention Of Tissue Paper?

Long before the idea of something soft, people comfortably used whatever that came their way including corncobs, snow, coconut shells, hay, and sheep’s wool.

The invention of the printing press brought the much-needed relief, and people turned to magazines, newspapers, and book pages.

It was not until 1857 that Joseph Gayetty – an American inventor – came up with Gayetty’s Medicated Paper which came in the form of flat sheets.

Unfortunately, the Americans were not ready to pay for something that came in the mail for free. They were not moved an inch by Gayetty’s claims that his therapeutic sheets prevented hemorrhoids too.

In fact, according to Dave Praeger, author of Poop Culture, it was a taboo to mention those papers leave alone using them. Things, however, changed and the Americans slowly gave in to the new technology when two brothers Clarence and Irvin Scott put the toilet paper on a scroll.

The Latest In Toilet Technology

At the rate at which the toilet is evolving, the seemingly outstanding fixtures of today might be messy throwbacks and best suited for camps in a few years to come.

Toilets have a long history. They have moved from ‘’squatters’’ (toilets built into the floor) to wall mounted toilet. That’s not the most futuristic aspect though.

Unlike a few years ago, we now have hi-tech units that will spray a jet of water at your back and in front – if you wish. Toto-USA spokeswoman Lenora Campos says that just as you can’t wipe your dishes with paper, so shouldn’t you use paper to wipe your ‘business.’ She says that it only spreads the problem.

Advanced models have automatic dryers too. Getting a commode with a temperature adjustable seat that raises and lowers automatically is not a new thing either. Others also have direction and pressure controls, nightlights, music, self-cleaning mechanisms, and automatic sensors that open the lid for you.

Dan is the editor in chief and founder of this site, after running into troubles with his own old toilet a while ago. Discussing toilets is not your everyday topic, so let’s talk toilets today.