Did You Know? (Toilet Edition)

The flush toilet was invented in 1595 by John Harrington?

Without running water, his system wasn’t very popular. People have given plumber and engineer Thomas Crapper the credit, but it was Alexander Cummings who created the “s-bend” and modern flushing in 1775.

I found this information on pages 8 & 9 in The Technology Behind Everyday Appliances by Nicolas Brasch. This was a fun book, and I also learned that the screw as a fastener was invented about 300 years before the screwdriver!

You never know when you will have to do a little home repair on your toilet. Ultimate Guide: Plumbing by Merle Henkenius gives you step by step instructions for working on your toilet, sink, dishwasher, garbage disposal and much more. There are lots of ‘smart tips’ offered which can save you lots of money, trouble and even help you avoid calling a plumber.

Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up by Sarah Able tells us that even the bible talks about excrement. In the book of Deuteronomy, God, through Moses, tells the Hebrews to carry a paddle (shovel) “and cover that what comest from thee.” The Romans were the first to build sewer systems and aqueducts and some of them are still in use today. Another interesting fact I learned is that the “powder room” really was a room for powdering wigs in the eighteenth century. There are lots of other very amusing facts in this book as well.

One of the most important issues involving toilets is the process of becoming potty trained! We have a large selection of books in our parenting section about this. The Complete Guide to Potty Training by Michelle D Swaney gives step by step techniques and ideas that will make the process much easier. We also have many other books to read to your child and DVD’s such as Potty Time that they can watch.

Kids especially love any kind of bathroom humor. It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s Toiletman! by Nancy Krulik is a very exciting tale that kids will love. You can read about another bathroom superhero in Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. There are many different adventures that the kids will laugh about as they read, and some very nasty archenemies such as the purple potty people and bionic booger boy!

I’m always amazed to see the selection of reading material in people’s bathrooms. I know I do a good part of my reading there! It would be kind of ironic to read this in your lavatory: The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman. This work is an autobiography of Silverman’s life, and the adversities she overcame as a child being a bedwetter. I personally applaud her bravery for admitting such a thing. It cannot have been an easy secret to share with the world!

While working on this blog, I realized there is no shortage of material about this subject. I guess when ya gotta go, ya gotta go!  Just keep in mind the lovely indoor plumbing we have today, and how our ancestors had a much more difficult time getting their business done.

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