Time to think about your porcelain throne | Darn Wright


Last updated 11/17/2022 at 5:39pm

Even with our hectic days, we still make time to just isolate ourselves, and sit down to think over our to-do list. And most of this time can be done while sitting on our white porcelain throne.

Twenty years ago, Jack Sim, a successful businessman based in Singapore, decided he would do something about the neglect of sanitation. In 2001, he founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO). Two decades later, sanitation is now a major issue on our minds.

World Toilet Day is all about celebrating toilets for everything they do for us, from taking away our waste to protecting our health, safety, and dignity. This being the case please show your toilets some love and your appreciation by keeping them clean.

For those of us who were born on Nov. 19, we can brag about being birthed on that famous day our 16th president gave his Gettysburg Address. You can further boast it was the day, years later, the first automatic toll collection machine was used on the New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (7-2) that baseball is a sport not a business, and the Beatles released “Magical Mystery Tour.” Then among those historical events add that since 2013, the UN has observed Nov. 19 as World Toilet Day. They did so to draw attention to the importance of accessible toilets and proper sanitation.

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If you run out of topics here are some tantalizing facts you can share with your friends and neighbors about toilets.

Many studies support it’s unacceptable that 40% of the world’s 4.2 billion human beings lack access to hygienic sewage disposal systems. Since the invention of toilets that machine alone has reduced many filth diseases and in the course of doing so humans have added 20 years to our lives! Here are some other tantalizing facts to digest.

People have more mobile phones access around the globe than they have toilet facilities.

Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death among children under five and is entirely preventable with access to proper sanitation and clean water.

What are some other things about toilets that you can unembarrassingly share with your friends and family members?

According to Wikipedia, “The credit for inventing the flush toilet goes to Sir John Harrington, godson of Elizabeth I, who invented a water closet with a raised cistern and a small downpipe through which water

ran to flush the waste in 1592.”

Then to improve upon Harrington’s inventions in the late 19th century Thomas Crapper, an Englishman, who was known for inventing the concept of bathroom fittings focused his attention on making flush toilets more sanitary. But he was struggling to make ends meet and if it were not for his government contracts Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd. would have gone down the toilet.

The English government’s toilet involvement ending up not only saving its own constituents health and lives it is saving our lives too!

You might be sitting there thinking: How did crapper become an active verb? The slang for “doing number 2” started when our WWI English stationed soldiers took to calling toilets “The Crapper” and brought their new found word back with them to the United States.

Actually, there is no known single inventor or individual invention of what we now know as the toilet, and all of its many synonyms.  What we do have is a generally accepted historical timeline listing milestones covering some of the evolution of today’s toilets.

1885: The first modern pedestal “flush-down” toilet was demonstrated by Frederick Humpherson Chelsea, England.

1906: William Elvis Sloan invented the Flushometer, which used pressurized water directly from the water supply line for faster recycle time between flushes. The Flushometer is still in use today in public restrooms worldwide.

1911: Philip Haas of Dayton, Ohio, received a patent for the multiple jet flush rim toilet perforations to thoroughly wash every portion of the bowl.

1924-1927: Haas also designed and improved a water flushing and recycling mechanism similar to those in use today.

So, there you have it. As you digest this information keep in mind what you have learned could be answers for your upcoming Trivial Pursuit game or answers for your crossword puzzle.

Darn right, may I suggest you take this Darn Wright column into your “reading room,” sit down on your white porcelain throne and re-read the history of this famous Nov. 19 day?


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