The Toilet Essay

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Image 1: Sir John Harrington. Image 1: Sir John Harrington. The toilet is one of the world’s most famous inventions and it is one that we take for granted in this country. It has made huge changes in the condition of sanitation and has helped Britain get past several epidemics of cholera and typhoid during the course of its development. In this essay I will be explaining how the design and functionality of the “John” (a common slang phrase used in America for the toilet, named after the inventor of the first flushing toilet Sir John Harrington (image 1)) has developed between the time of its creation and now. Image 2: The Ajax. Image 2: The Ajax. The first flushing toilet was named “the Ajax” (Image 2) and was designed for John Harrington’s Godmother Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. The Ajax wasn’t much different to a common toilet; it contained many similar features that we still see on our toilets today such as the flushing chain, cistern and bowl. Needless to say, the Queen loved the idea and straight away ordered one for Richmond Palace. From this point up to the middle of the 19th century toilets were considered a luxury and were very expensive. If you couldn’t afford one then you were reduced to a privy closet somewhere in your home. The privy was a simple idea which meant you doing your business in a hole in a bench with a bucket underneath. The privy, when full, had to be emptied by covering the contents with ash and then carrying and dumping into a cesspit that would normally be in your cellar. This was the same with the toilets of the late 18th century except these toilets worked with a valve that emptied the toilet for you as opposed to carrying faeces through the house. Image 4: Hinged outlet valve Closet. Image 4: Hinged outlet valve Closet. Image 3: Metal Valve Closet. Image 3: Metal Valve Closet. The next generation of water closet used a type of
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