Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Toilets of the World

Did Thomas Crapper Invent the Flush Toilet?
Is His Name the Origin of the Word "Crap"?

No, and No

Thomas Crapper was an English plumber and industrialist, but he was not the inventor of the flush toilet. The modern flush toilet design dates back to 1596, 240 years before Thomas Crapper's birth in 1836. English patents for flush toilets were issued in the 1770s. Public toilets were installed in England in 1854, when Crapper was just 18. And as for the word "crap", it has been used in English since 1440, based on Middle English crappe which came from earlier Dutch and Old French words, which in turn came from medieval Latin.

Toilets have been around at least since 3,500 BC when the Neolithic settlers of Skara Brae on the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland built toilet chambers at the corners of their stone homes.

Those late Stone Age toilets had a drainage system to remove waste, although it is unclear whether they had a true water flushing system or not. A flushing system connected to a common sewage disposal system existed by 2,600 BC in the cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in the Indus Valley Civilization. The Minoan civilization on Crete and Thera had flushing toilets by 1,800 BC.

Read more about Thomas Crapper »

Today's Featured Latrine
These nice marbled topped toilets are in the public latrine at Έφεσος or Ephesus in western Asia Minor, today's Turkey. Ephesus was one of the Roman Empire's major cities. Major political and business deals would have made in this communal atmosphere.

See pictures of New Testament era toilets in Ephesus, Hierapolis, and Corinth, and read about how attitudes about privacy have changed through the centuries in Privies, Privacy and Power. Lyndon Johnson had some toilet habits that go back to the Romans and beyond that to Mesopotamian potentates of the second millennium BC!
Check back tomorrow for another featured toilet!
Who is the Toilet Guru?
Bob Cromwell seated on the ancient public toilets in Ephesus.

Who is the Toilet Guru? Is he obsessed? What is it like to be the Toilet Guru? How did Yahoo describe him? Why does this site exist?

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