TOILET TIMELINE TOILET INVENTORS
A walk down memory lane for toilets.

Get to know the eureka inventions and inventors for toilets.

TOILET TIMELINE

2800 to 2000 B.C.

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Place: Mohanjo-Daro located in the Indus River Valley in North-West India (Pakistan now). According to archeological excavations, it had some advanced lavatories built outside the wall of the houses. Toilets were made from bricks with wooden seats on top.

2500 B.C.

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Place: Harappa civilization in Pakistan and North-Western India, place called Lothal, near Ahmedabad in India. Peope who lived there had water-flushed toilet in each house. Drains between houses were connected and covered with bricks.

2300 B.C.

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Place: Sargon the Great, Mesopotamia. There existed six sitting type toilets with drainage systems discharging into a sewer system.

2100 B.C.

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Place: Egypt. Excavations showed that at that time, there were sitting type toilets.

2000 B.C.

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Place: Island of Crete. It had a fresh water supply, an entire sewage system and wooden seated toilets.

200 B.C. to 200 A.D.

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Place: Rome. There were well developed bath-cum-toilets. Romans used constructed toilets when they travelled.

200 A.D.

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Place: China, Beijing. Chinese women and men have used separate toilets according to archeologists. Their conclusion has been reached upon finding of two antique toilet models, which are currently on display at the Agriculture Museum in Beijing.

315 A.D.

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Place: Rome. There were 144 public toilets.

1391

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Place: China. Emperor Hong Wu (Ming Dynasty) ordered sheets of paper with dimensions of 2 feet by 3 feet for wiping.

1500s

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Place: Europe. People in Europe used cesspools, pan closets and soil closets that required manual cleaning because these closets did not have plumbing or drainage system.

1596

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Place: England. Two flushing water toilets were in form resembling modern toilet bowl, one toilet for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth, and one for himself. This water closet was called "The Ajax Flushing Toilet". Inventor: Sir John Harrington.

1710

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Place: France. There were written references about the bidet in France. Exact date unknown. It is believed that furniture make Christopher Des Rosiers was the inventor.

1738

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Place: England. A valve type flush toilet. Inventor: J.F. Brondel received a British patent.

1739

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Place: France. The first separate toilets were introduced in a ballroom in Paris.

1775

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Place: England. The strap, a sliding valve between the bowl and the trap. In the toilet, there is the S-Trap that is still in use in most modern toilets.

1777

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Place: England. Plunger closet. Inventor: Samuel Prosser received a patent.

1777

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Place: England. Pottery close stool water closet was made. Pottery bowls were easier to clean, lighter in weight, not liable to corrosion and much cheaper than metal. Potters added decoration to stoneware bowls in an attempt to make them more attractive. Inventor: Josiah Wedgewood.

1778

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Place: England. Closet with valve at the bottom of the bowl that was on a hinge. This is the float-and-valve flushing system we still use today. Inventor: Joseph Bramah received a patent.

1782

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Place: England. Stink Trap was designed to close out cespits odors. These water-sealed traps, known today as U-bends, had the advantage of self-cleansing traps. Inventor: John Gaittait.

1819

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Place: England. Siphon discharge system called "Silent Valveless Water Waste Preventer". Inventor: Albert Giblin.

1852

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Place: England. A washout closet that was equipped with a shallow basin, a tray, water seals, a pan and S-Trap. Inventor: J.G. Jennings received a patent.

1857

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Place: USA. Packaged toilet paper was invented. Inventor: Joseph Gayetty.

1870

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Place: USA. Three-pipe "siphonic closet". Inventor: John Randall Mann.

1870

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Place: USA. Flush type toilet called "Optims" was in operation. Inventor: S.S. Helior.

1875

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Place: USA. "Plunger closet" similar to twin-basin water closets. Inventors: James T. Henry and William Campbell received a patent.

1876

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Place: USA. "A jet siphon closet". Inventor: William Smith.

1877

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Place: USA. Introduction of "rolled and perforated toilet paper". Inventor: Zeth Wheeler received a patent.

1885

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Place: England. First flush-out siphon design toilet in one-peice made of china. Inventor: Thomas Twyford

1885

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Place: USA. Introduction of "packaged of toilet paper and the manufacturing process". Inventor: Oliver H. Hicks received a patent.

1888

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Place: USA. Siphonic closet that required only two delivery pipes. Inventor: Thomas Kennedy received a patent.

1890

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Place: USA. Water closet that eliminated the lower trap in maintaining good function. Inventor: William Howell.

1890

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Place: USA. An American company was the first to manufacture and market tissue on a roll.

1893

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Place: USA. Non-disposable toilet seat cover for water closets.

1907

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Place: Canada. The vortex-flushing toilet bowl which creates a self-cleansing effect was patented. Inventor: Thomas MacAvity Stewart.

1932

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Place: USA. "Wash-down siphonic water closets", which became typical for future modern style toilet and later as the standard for Europe and America. Inventors: Charles Neff and Robert Frame.

1936

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Place: USA. "Toilet seat cover" affixed to a bidet was patented.

1939

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Place: USA. Introduction of a variable functioning bidet was patented.

1960

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Place: Europe. An electronic bidet was connected with existing toilet and plumbing system.

1980

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Place: Japan. Paperles toilet, a combinatin of toilet, bidet and dryer.

1980

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Place: Australia. Duoset cistern with two buttons and two flush volumes as a water-saving measure was developed and patented. Inventor: Bruce Thompson (Caroma)

1992

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The US Department of energy announces that for water conservation purposes, by 1994, all American toilets should operate with not more than 1.6 gallons per flush.Before the 1950s, toilets typically used 7 gallons or more for each flush. By the end of the 1960s, toilets were designed to flush with only 5.5 gallons, and in the 1980s, rthe new toilets being installed were using only 3.5 gallons.

2005

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Place: Japan. Japanese builder Daiwa House and Toto, Japan's No. 1 toilet maker, teamed up to develop a bathroom that lets users monitor their health. It analyzers urine samples, measures your blood presure, and checks your body fat. Inventor: Toto Company.

2005

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Place: Russia. The world's most expensive toilet will not be found on earth. The Rusian designed system was purchased by NASA for the International Space Station (ISS) from S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation. It comes complete with leg restraints and thigh bars. It filters urine into drinking water. Inventor: S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation.

2007

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Place: USA. Patented hygienic toilet using foamy soap for elimination of reflections during evcuation. Utilization of bowl's special goemetry provides most effective detergency when water moves with a "supersonic speed" of surface waves. Finding and utilizing optimum size and number of holes in a toilet bowl rim. Inventors: V. Zhurin and L. Zhurin.

1980 to 2008

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Thousands of patents have been issued during this time with various improvements of existing basic designs that were introduced in 19 and beginning of 20 centuries. A series of improvements have been introduced by many major toilet producers. These improvements include the following features:

  • Fast water vortex type rotation for better detergency effect;
  • Utilization of pressure assisted flush for more effective detergency effect;
  • Numerical calculations for optimization of water flow over a toilet bowl and design such toilet bowls;
  • Finding and utilizing optimum size and number of holes in a toilet bowl rim;
  • Optimization of form and size of toilet bowl for people with special needs;
  • Utilization of heated toilet seats;
  • Utilization of electronics for medical tests of human excretions (Toto)
  • Development of waterless toilets

 2008

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Place: Germany. Development of a compost toilet for public use. The rounded shape of the design ensures optimum size and easy cleaning without compromising convenience. All surfaces and the toilet bowl are made of self-cleaning Ceramic, and the toilet seats feature biological compressed wood, which can be conveniently disposed of after every use. Inventor: Ronja Scholz (Winner of "Toilet of the Future" design on World Toilet Day 2008).

 

2800 B.C. to 2000 B.C.

Inventor Unknown.

Place: Mohanjo-Daro located in the Indus River Valley in North-West India (Pakistan now). According to archeological excavations, it had some advanced lavatories built outside the wall of the houses. Toilets were made from bricks with wooden seats on top.

Source of photo:
 
2500 B.C.

Inventor Unknown.

Place: Harappa civilization in Pakistan and North-Western India, place called Lothal, near Ahmedabad in India. Peope who lived there had water-flushed toilet in each house. Drains between houses were connected and covered with bricks.

Source of photo:
 
2100 B.C.

Inventor Unknown.

Place: Egypt. Excavations showed that at that time, there were sitting type toilets.

Source of photo:
 
200 B.C. to 200 A.D.

Inventor Unknown.

Place: Rome. There were well developed bath-cum-toilets. Romans used constructed toilets when they travelled.

Source of photo:
 
1852

Inventor: J.G. Jennings (Patented).

Place: England. A washout closet that was equipped with a shallow basin, a tray, water seals, a pan and S-Trap. J.G. Jennings invented the wash-out design with a shallow pan emptying into an S-Trap. He popularized public lavatories by installing them in the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Source of photo: Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library, South Kensington, England.
 
1857

Inventor: Joseph Gayetty

Place: USA. Packaged toilet paper was invented.

Source of photo:
 
2005

Inventor: Toto Company.

Place: Japan. Japanese builder Daiwa House and Toto, Japan's No. 1 toilet maker, teamed up to develop a bathroom that lets users monitor their health. It analyzers urine samples, measures your blood presure, and checks your body fat. Inventor: Toto Company.

Source of photo:
 
2005

Inventor: S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation.

Place: Russia. The world's most expensive toilet will not be found on earth. The Rusian designed system was purchased by NASA for the International Space Station (ISS) from S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation. It comes complete with leg restraints and thigh bars. It filters urine into drinking water. Inventor: S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation.

 

Source of photo:
 

 

TOILET INVENTORS

2007

Inventors: V. Zhurin and L. Zhurin (Patented).

Place: USA. Patented research findings for an hygienic toilet using foamy soap during evacuations to prevent reflections; Optimum utilization of the bowl's special goemetry to provide the most effective detergency when water moves with a "supersonic speed" of surface waves; and Finding and utilizing optimum size and number of holes in a toilet bowl rim. Click here for more information.

 
 2008

Inventor: Ronja Scholz (Winner of "Toilet of the Future" design on World Toilet Day 2008).

Place: Germany. Development of a compost toilet for public use. The rounded shape of the design ensures optimum size and easy cleaning without compromising convenience. All surfaces and the toilet bowl are made of self-cleaning Ceramic, and the toilet seats feature biological compressed wood, which can be conveniently disposed of after every use.

Click below for more information. 

German       English

 
 

 

We would like to invite innovators / inventors in the field of ecological sanitation, public toilets from developing countries and developed countries to submit their design. However, only innovations that are created to serve or help in improving sanitation for the poor and the larger good will be posted on our website.

Note: This section will not serve as a marketing platform for commercial purposes of the featured products.

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Dr. V. Zhurin for his time and kind contributions to the contents of this page.

 

 



 
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