Who Invented The First Flushing Toilet?

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It’s not difficult to imagine that one of the first inventions in human history was a toilet. One can only imagine what it must have been like to relieve oneself while squatting over an open trench and then walk away, leaving behind all evidence of your natural bodily functions.

This would have led to many problems such as disease and foul odors, so the invention of the flushing toilet is probably something we should be grateful for.

In this article, we will look briefly at the evolution of what is considered to be the flushing toilet and who invented it. Previously, we have talked about tankless toilets.

We'll also look at the important things to look out for when choosing a new toilet and other bathroom appliances – let's get right into it.

The first flushing toilet

The inventor of the first flushing toilet is unknown but there are many speculations about who he could be. Some say Alexander Cummings invented this device in 1775 in England; others claim it was Sir John Harrington during Queen Elizabeth's reign (1558-1603). However, if you want to find out more about the first flushing toilet, you should look back in history. 

A Babylonian tablet from about 1800 BC describes a flush toilet-like device that uses suction to remove waste. One of the most important inventors for toilets and plumbing is Alexander Cummings. He invented the “Marvellous Useful Pot” in 1775. It is said to be an early example of a flushing toilet, although it was quite crude and thus not very well known.

In Elizabethan England, Sir John Harrington invented what he called a “King's Device for Removing Odours from the Stale Air of a Room”. It was more like an elaborate urinal than a latrine because it didn't flush. The device, made entirely out of wood, was placed under the seat of the throne at Hampton Court Palace. 

A hole in the bottom allowed urine to seep through to a chamber where servants collected it and sold its odor. It seems that even royalty understood the importance of hygiene.

Things to consider when buying a new toilet

Nowadays, most of us are used to flushing toilets. This is best suited for households where multiple people use the same bathroom. You will be able to choose between two different types of flush: one strong and one less powerful so that minimal water is used only when liquid waste needs to be flushed away – ideal if we take our environmental responsibility seriously.

A traditional flushing toilet works differently from the dual-flush toilet. You'll need to push a button for each action you want it to perform, i.e., one to flush solid waste and another for liquid waste. And before you decide on which type of technology suits you best, make sure that your new toilet has the right size, style, color, and features for you and your bathroom. Otherwise, it could end up being more trouble than it's worth.

What is a one-piece toilet?

A one-piece flushing toilet has several advantages over two- or three- piece models. It is the modern standard for toilets in almost every home. Most one-piece toilets are produced as sanitary coated, water-saving models which use less water than two or three-piece models. The bowl and tank are made of vitreous china. One-piece toilet units tend to be more expensive but most homeowners will find them a worthwhile investment.

What is a two-piece toilet?

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The two-piece model of flushing toilets can be recognized by the tank and bowl being separate pieces from each other. This style is not as popular outside North America, especially in countries that do not have very cold winters and warmer water supplies. However, there are some advantages to this design. The two-piece design makes it easy to replace just the bowl or just the tank. The older style of construction means that water is not wasted and drips directly from the tank into the bowl.

What is a three-piece toilet? 

A three-piece model of toilet has a separate cistern (tank) and often hose pipe as well. The advantage of this model is that if the cistern or hose pipe fails, then only these two parts need to be replaced and not the entire toilet unit. This design was popular in many older houses but has been largely superseded by the one-piece models that are easier to install and maintain.

three piece toilet
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Types of flushing toilets

When it comes to choosing a new flushing toilet, several things need consideration. The most important thing is the size or else you may have trouble fitting your new throne into its new home. It's good practice to measure properly and compare the measurements with the existing hole in the floor where your old toilet was positioned. 

This will give you an idea as to whether your next purchase will fit – just make sure that everything's level. If possible, it helps if you can get someone else to lift the new one-piece unit so you know exactly how much space you'll have around it for inevitable future repairs.

It's also helpful to know what type of flushing mechanism your new toilet will have to determine if you need a power outlet nearby or not. 

But remember that this isn't always necessary depending on which type of flush handle is installed: some pressure assist toilets are battery operated while others come with an integrated wireless transmitter that can be connected directly to the power supply. 

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Types of tank toilets

Tankless toilets are generally used when no freshwater source is available, such as in motorhomes, boats, and some RVs. In this case, the tankless toilet has a fiberglass holding tank that can be vented with fresh air every few minutes. If you've got the space, then you may want to opt for an oval or round bowl model instead of using a compact elongated one so your bathroom looks more aesthetically pleasing.

Types of washlets and bidets

If you're looking to buy a new toilet seat, then there are more options than just picking between an elongated type and a round bowl unit. On top of these two models, there are also heated seats (great for cold winters), contoured seats, remote controls (for those who have trouble bending), and bidet attachments where both fresh running water and pressurized air are used to clean the toilet area.

Final thoughts on choosing the right flushing toilet

When it comes to choosing a new powerful toilet, you'll have plenty to choose from. But the basic question that needs answering is whether you want a one-piece toilet or a separate tank and bowl model.

Most people go for a one-piece toilet unit because it's easier to clean and maintain. You'll also need less space when compared to all other types of toilets that require some vertical clearance under the floor so they can be dropped down into their right places. This makes them great for small bathrooms where every inch counts.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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