Who Invented the Toilet?


It’s pop quiz time. Who invented the toilet?

A. The Professor (thanks, but way before his time)

B. Thomas Crapper

C. Sir John Harington

Crapper’s got the name, but Sir Harington wins you the game.

Harington invented his water closet design in the 16th century. It was truly a throne fit for a king… or queen. Harington’s godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, had the first one installed in Richmond Palace. Harington’s modern flush toilet model flourished, becoming a common fixture in Europe over the 18th and 19th centuries.

Toilet design has continuously evolved since then. In 1992 the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring new toilets to drain just 1.6 gallons per flush, instead of the average 3.5 gallons. Manufacturers, such as American Standard, are seeing how low toilets can go to conserve water resources and save consumers money without sacrificing performance.

Visit Discovery News to learn more about potty pioneers!

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