And then man invented the Toilet
Fun facts you never knew
Most people say they can think better while they’re in the can waiting for that elusive poo to come out. There are some that use this same time to do some important readings while some simply use this time to relax and think about nothing. Whichever group you fall into, you can’t deny that the toilet has provided us with that much needed time and privacy aside from simply being a place to dump your dung.
Toilets are a modern sanitary fixture and convenience for disposing human waste such as feces, shit, poo, scat, dung, excrement or doo doo. Can you imagine living in a period wherein there’s no decent toilet and plumbing around? Have you ever wondered how, centuries ago, men and women survived without a working toilet?
Surprisingly, toilets have been around since 2800 BC wherein lavatories were built around the outer walls of the house. These primitive toilets of Mohenjo-Darowere made from bricks with wooden seat that had an integrated vertical chute for the pee or excrement to fall straight into the drains or sewers.
Around the same time, early toilet models that utilize flowing water were found in Skara Brae in Orkney, Scotland. The Egyptians and Romans incorporated this same design by the 18th century BC.
However, chamber pots are what the Europeans used when they pee or poo. These chamber pots are often made of copper or china and are usually emptied into the gutter near the home. However, as the gutters of Europe are getting blocked with large amount of feces, cesspits were dug up to accommodate urbanization.
Imagine all those elegant women of the Renaissance or the Victorian era with their big fluffy dresses. It’s hard enough to go to the toilet in a long gown at this day and age; how much more 100 years ago? Imagine having to carry that monster of a dress while you take a pee or poo. It’s no wonder the nobilities and aristocrats have their ladies-in-waiting.
If you think about it, it’s a mighty awkward predicament too for an aristocrat or noble to take a pee or poo while there are three or four people waiting on you hand and foot. What if you have bladder shyness or worst, constipated? What if you were suffering for constipation? If that isn’t enough, imagine the lady-in-waiting carrying the chamber pot through the hallways with your pee or feces in it. Everyone in your home will be privy to your toilet habits back in those days. How embarrassing is that?
Early Americans, on the other hand, utilized the outhouse to pee and poo. The outhouse is a small separate structure that contains a can for a cache basin that would be emptied regularly. In some cases, the outhouse would only consist of a small dug-up hole. You can only imagine how that would smell like with a couple of people dumping their scat.
Currently, there are a number of toilet types being used extensively globally like –
Dry Toilet – This is one that uses little or no water to flush.
Composting toilets like those in Sweden and the UK is also considered a dry toilet as it utilizes carbon materials for decomposition.
Chamber pots and bedpans are also considered to be dry toilets as the pee or poo are thrown or dump into the gutter or sewer system.
UD Toilets/ UDD Toilets/ UDDT System – This is where the toilet has two distinct compartments for urine and doo doo. This is what astronauts use during their space mission and it is also a way for them to get potable water in space.
Chemical Toilets – This also does not utilize water but instead uses various chemicals to break down the human waste such as pee or shit. This can be commonly found being used in commercial passenger aircraft and trains.
Portable Toilets or Port-a-Potties – This is typically seen in a construction site, concert or any outdoor gatherings where there are no visible facilities present. These portable self-contained facilities utilize chemicals to flush down pee or fece and it needs to be replaced if you plan to use it for extended periods of time.
Squat Toilets – This is common in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and in some Mediterranean and European countries where the user puts either foot on the opposite sides of the toilet and squats too pee or poo.
High-Tech Toilets – These toilets incorporates the most advance modern technologies into the basic sanitary fixture
Automatic Flushing – This can be predominantly seen in upper class facilities wherein the toilet automatically flushes the pee or poo as soon as the user stands up.
Smart Toilet – Aside from an avenue to pee or poo, this toilet can even check your weight, BMI, temperature, blood sugar and blood pressure. Heck, it can even help you tell when you are ovulating! How’s that for a quick medical check-up?
Interactive Urinals – These urinals allow the users to play video games or other interactive programs using the stream of one’s urine. These interactive urinals have found their way in public lavatories in Brussels and Tokyo.
The only thing left to know is how the name toilet came about. Do you ever wonder about it?
It has little to do with pee or dung and it was actually derived from the French word toile, which refers to the cloth that is draped over the shoulders while they have their hair dressed. Moreover, did you know that using the word toilet is considered impolite in the United States but okay anywhere else?
There are several others words used to refer to the toilet, which includes the following –
Privy or Netty(Scotland and some parts of England)
Water Closet or Commodes (USA)
Comfort Rooms (Philippines)
The toilet is probably the one of the best discoveries of all time and it is probably why toilet training your children to pee and poo in the potty at an early age is such a great milestone.
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