Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Toilet Press Releases and Awards

Toilet Guru Press Coverage

30 Years as a Toilet Guru

The journalist Georg Mathisen interviewed me for Rørfag, a Norwegian magazine for plumbers. The article appeared online in May 2024 at nemitek.no.

Cassidy Cash had me on her That Shakespeare Life podcast twice to discuss flush toilet history and the English inventor John Harington!
▶ Episode 151 — Flush Toilets in Elizabethan England
▶ Episode 155 — The Life of John Harington

In December 2023 ARK Media LLC contacted me to use some of my mid-20th century American toilet imagery in the documentary Buckley which they were producing for PBS. Variety described it as:

"Buckley" (working title) is a biography of one of the 20th Century’s most charismatic, controversial and influential political figures, William F. Buckley, Jr. Featuring a large cast of contemporaries, acolytes, and critics, the film reveals how WFB practically invented the modern conservative movement.

BBC 5 live Drive show interviewed me on Tuesday, 14 August 2018. They were discussing the new deployment of Uri-trottoirs in Paris, public urinals with almost no privacy.

Peček Mitja of Radio Slovenia did a great interview that was used in a broadcast on the Val 202 program on Friday, 18 Nov 2017.
▶ Listen (7m 09s)

The book Scottish History: Strange But True by John Hamilton, 2016, mentions my site.

The book Rationalising the Bible — Volume 1: The Torah by Ivy Bedworth, 2016, quotes and cites my Toilets of the Hebrew Bible page. See the citation from page 199.

Scottish History: Strange But True
Amazon 0750966300
Rationalising the Bible - Volume 1: The Torah
Amazon 1329935330

The book Artifacts from Medieval Europe by James B. Tschen-Emmons, 2015, references my Medieval Scottish Ecclesiastical Toilets page. See the citation from page 143.

SamenleesBijbel, a Dutch study Bible for children 8–12 years old, used some of my photographs from Ephesus. Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap, Haarlem, 2015, ISBN 978-90-8912-042-7.

The textbook Consumer Behaviour, Isabelle Szmigin and Maria Piacentini, Oxford University Press, 2014, used my picture of the urinal flies at Amsterdam's airport. See the page.

Oxford University Press Canada adapted it for a Canadian Edition:
Title: Consumer Behaviour, 1Ce
Authors: Szmigin/Piacentini/Levit
ISBN: 9780199029075
Print run: 4,800
Publication date: March 25th, 2019
Territory: Canada
Term: life of edition (up to 5 years)
Format: Print and electronic (secure e-book)

Artifacts from Medieval Europe
Amazon 1610696212
Consumer Behaviour, 2nd Edition
Amazon 0198786239

National Geographic Russia used some information from my page on the very early 1900s urinals at McSorley's Old Ale House in New York in a autumn 2014 article.

La Presse of Canada mentioned the page when covering the strange duplex commodes of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

A great Vocativ article in 2014 described my site as well as Urinal.net and a number of YouTube channels, all of which address the historical and cultural aspects of modern toilet science.

The Sun had a short article on December 12, 2013, on page 29.

Some of the images were used in the "Flushed" episode of the program Ordinary Things on the National Geographic Channel, November 2006.

It was featured in the 12 Feb 2003 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

One of the photographs was used in the Angie's List print publication, November 2006 (pg 17), published by William S Oesterle, 1030 E Washington St, Indianapolis IN 46202.

It appeared in Phillip Milano's UP-syndicated column Dare to Ask originating in the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union and appearing in more than 20 Morris papers in 14 states. The article is archived here.

Despite some controversy over one page's claim that the Germans are overly interested in some toilet details, it was mentioned in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung No 15, 2004-04-11. See the Dutch toilets page, among others, for more on the Germanic "inspection plateau".

Near Misses

It was almost referenced in the New York Times Business section in 2009, see the Dutch toilet page for details of this.

It was going to be mentioned in the Chicago Tribune in 2005, although the article kept getting postponed.

This Page is Scientific, and Award Winning!

"Towards more culturally inclusive domestic toilet facilities in Australia", Zulkeplee Othman, Laurie Buys, Frontiers of Architectural Research, 3 August 2016, doi:10.1016/j.foar.2016.06.004 used the historical and west Asian pages as references to document a timeline of the development of toilet technology.

Some of the imagery was used in a medical journal. See "Extract from Clinical Evidence: Diarrhoea", in Student British Medical Journal, British Medical Association, v8, April 2000, pp 107-108. The article is archived on the net.

The Florida Museum of Natural History included some of my pictures in their exhibits in 2013.

Finally, despite the complete lack of Cypriot toilets, this page was awarded the Window on Cyprus award for captivating content!

What Is a Press Interview Like?

That really depends on the quality of the interviewer. Some, like Peček Mitja of Radio Slovenia and Luke Malone of Vocativ and Jean-Christophe Laurence of La Presse do a great job. By the time they contact me they already have a pretty good outline of an article, and they have read a number of pages on my site.

But in contrast...

Some of the supposed journalists who contact me seem to have just decided five minutes ago to write an article about toilets to fill space before a looming deadline. They did a Google search, found my site, found the contact info at the very bottom of every page, and sent me mail.

They start out with questions that indicate they haven't looked at the page they found — Did I take the pictures myself, do I have any pictures from France, and so on. I explain that yes, as it says on the main page, I took the pictures myself. And notice that not only are toilets in France mentioned near the top of the main page, every single page has a large menu at the bottom with links to every page.

Then they ask again, "But do you have any pictures of French toilets?"

Yes, I tell them again, here is the URL for the pictures from France. And notice how every page has a menu listing all the pages on the site.

"But what about China?"

Yes, China is in that same menu. But here's the URL if you somehow can't find it.

"But I'm really interested in France. Have you ever seen the automated public toilets in Paris?"

Yes, and I have several pictures of them. Apparently you didn't look at the page about France. Here's the URL again.

Honestly, it seems as if many of them want me to read the pages to them over a series of e-mail messages.

Worst of all was The Sun. The writer had clearly concluded that I was a complete freak, a social misfit that people actively avoided in day-to-day life, and if she kept asking the same questions about that over and over and over then maybe I would admit to that and she would have the story of her dreams.

No, sorry, I'm not a freak. Just a guy with an odd collection of travel photos and the idea to monetize them on a web site with ads.

"But what about filthy toilets? Really, really, filthy toilets? I want to see your pictures of really filthy toilets."

Well, here's the worst I have.

"No, no, I want to see pictures of really filthy toilets! That's nothing! I want to see really really disgusting toilets!"

I'm pretty sure I wasn't the freak in that conversation. Well, it was The Sun and a Rupert Murdoch production after all, not like I should expect actual journalism from one of Murdoch's properties.

See my page about visiting the New Jersey auto repair shop with Adolf Hitler's toilet for more on how some of us just have some pictures or own some surplus plumbing fixtures while other people get downright obsessed about toilets. And they think that they're the normal ones.

A standard question is to ask why I think this is such an important topic. I always tell them, I don't think that it is. But they apparently do, as they're the one who has searched for information on the topic and contacted me. Why do they think it's worth writing an article about?

That question seems to always upset or offend the journalist.