Thomas Crapper was a British plumber who did improve the functionality of the flush toilet. He even held nine patents, three of which were for improvements to the water closet. But no, contrary to popular belief, Thomas Crapper didn’t actually invent the flush toilet.
Credit for the toilet should actually go to 16th-century author Sir John Harrington. Harrington was an author and in 1596, he wrote an article named “Plan Plots of a Privy of Perfection.” In this article, he described his idea of a flush toilet. Queen Elizabeth I was so impressed by his idea that she asked Harrington to install one in the Royal Palace. She even bound and hung his article next to the toilet. This new flush toilet was not properly vented and sewer gas constantly leaked into the Royal bathroom. Bowls of herbs and fragrances were placed around the room to remedy this problem. This odd invention made Harrington an object of ridicule and he never built another one. After Harrington died, the toilet was taken out of the palace and remained unpopular for the next 200 years. Continue reading “Did Crapper Invent the Flushing Toilet?”