Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Toilets of the World

Who Invented the Flush Toilet?

Toilets are not new, they have been around since the Stone Age, and flushing toilets are old enough that history doesn't record their invention. But then things fell apart after the Roman Empire fell apart. Flushing toilets on a modern design were finally re-invented in England a little before 1600, wrapped up in some royal court intrigue.

Sir John Harington was born in 1561 in Kelston, Somerset, in southeastern England. His mother was a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber of Queen Elizabeth I.

The Privy Chamber was the most influential operating department within the English royal household. Control of the Privy Chamber meant control of the ruler. What had simply been the Chamber of the King had been divided under King Henry VIII (ruled 1509-1547) into the Privy Chamber, the Presence Chamber, and the Great Hall, working out from the innermost private space. The Privy Chamber included the ruler's bedroom, library, study and toilet.

As King Henry VIII grew older and fatter, the position of Groom of the Stool became ever more influential. Meanwhile, the work involved remained rather unpleasant. The Groom of the Stool, more formally titled the Groom of the King's Close Stool, was in charge of the royal excretion and was tasked with removing the excrement and cleaning the King's anal area after defecation.

Read more about the invention of the flush toilet »

Today's Featured Latrine
Hadrian's Wall was built across a narrow piece of Britain in 122-128, delineating the northern edge of Roman Brittania. Beyond the wall were the unconquered tribes of the north.

There were gates every Roman mile (1480 meters) with a milecastle or small fort guarding the gate. Larger forts, much more widely spaced, housed large garrisons manned by a mixture of troops, both local and from throughout the Roman Empire.

The large Vercovicium Fort includes this large Roman military latrine. My collection also includes the latrines and baths at Vindolanda Fort.
Check back tomorrow for another featured toilet!
Who is the Toilet Guru?
Bob Cromwell seated on the ancient public toilets in Ephesus.

Who is the Toilet Guru? Is he obsessed? What is it like to be the Toilet Guru? How did Yahoo describe him? Why does this site exist?

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