Forget The Crap You've Heard About Thomas Crapper!

// // 18 Comments
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
0
0

Editor’s note: This topic may have already been addressed on the site, but it’s never a bad thing to revisit important poop history. Besides, I could not imaging not sharing this article with all of you seeing as it contains the phrase ‘royal dumplings’.




Who actually invented the flush toilet? Thomas Crapper usually gets the credit but it wasn’t he who did so. Crapper did apply for some patents relating to flush toilets in the later years of the nineteenth century, but the first flush toilet in England beats that date by about three hundred years.

Sir John Harington illustrated his revolutionary water closet design in his 1596 treatise A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax. Harington then peddled his newfangled commode to his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, who then plunked her royal behind down on the one she had installed in Richmond Palace.

The flushing mechanism of Harington's device consisted of pulling a knob to empty a water cistern, which sat above the toilet bowl. I would assume that this menial task was carried out by a chamber maid, who also may have borne the responsibility of wiping the royal asshole free of any post poop debris; this, however, is mere conjecture on my part. The royal dumplings were collected in a vault beneath the floor, which required periodic emptying.

Prior to Harington's invention, people relieved themselves in chamber pots – AKA slop jars – and tossed the contents outdoors and into nearby waterways. I have read that in medieval London the "slops" were often just tossed out the window, and herds of swine roamed the streets in search of whatever food, including the occasional turd, they could find for their sustenance. I wonder if people ate the pork and, if so, did it have an off taste?

The first flush toilets may have been Asian, as archaeologists have discovered ruins indicating the Chinese may have engineered a kind of flush toilet by 206 B.C. It boasted running water and a stone seat. (The Tang Dynasty is credited for being the first civilization to have used toilet paper as well.)

Thomas Crapper became widely associated with toilets not so much for his claim to the innovation but for his salesmanship. He established sanitation showrooms and cleverly imprinted his memorable last name on his wares. If he hadn't done this the English language might have been deprived of a great euphemism, and we might very well be taking "Haringtons" today.

18 Comments on "Forget The Crap You've Heard About Thomas Crapper!"

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

So, which came first -- poop that tasted like pork to the pigs or pork that tasted poop to the humans?


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

One wonders, about those very first flush toilets, where the flushed water and "solids" went. To the garden, for night-soil complete with irrigation? To the river, to feed the fish, giving them an enriched diet to prepare them for humans to eat? Straight out to the street--a slop jar (or thunder jug) with lateral projection? To the chemical plant down the road--oops, forgot, too long ago for that. Anyway, one wonders, doesn't one?

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

O' laddy, ye rufage distills a wretched heart. Harrington hung us out to dry on these high seas. For ye who take to the plank to plunge a formidable offering in ye vast ocean shall be spared a walk o' death...But o' swine who hath the wrath of less formidable expunge (on deck yo matey) shall be punished I so severe.....AARRRGGHHH!!!!!
Thank you Chief!!! If you Wiki "flush toilet" they have a nifty chronological history, including a hand lever flush mechanism for hand washing from Arab inventor Al-Jazari....pre-dates Harrington....YO-HO HO..

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

Thunderbox's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Harrington may have preceded Crapper with his rudimentary flusher, but the earliest known toilet that was flushed out with water(not flushing exactly, but the water did flush the turds away through piping) was an Urartian squatter found in Eastern Turkey dating back to around 750BC, belonging to King Sardur II.

Check "The World`s Oldest Squat Toilet" in the Travel Logs section.

The voice of sanity

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Here are some interesting facts about feeding poop to pigs.

I worked at a small slaughterhouse that had a small feedlot where we would fatten cows, a few at a time, on ground alfalfa and cob corn. When the shit came out of the cow you could see undigested pieces of corn in it. The cow is a ruminant and like most of its brothers and sisters in the ruminant group has some difficulty digesting grains. We kept a few pigs in the lot to tidy up after the cows. We ate the pigs and they seemed to taste as good as any other pork I ever had.

In Mauritius in 1976, cattle manure mixed with molasses (40% manure, 40% molasses and 20% conventional balancing ingredients) was readily consumed by pigs. The results were not comparable to those of commercial pig formula, but the economics were said to be in favour of a ration containing the mixture. We gave our pigs nothing, in addition to the shit, but water. They thrived and seemed to be as happy as ...well... pigs in shit.

The Mauritius cow shit was probably from cows on pasture and I feel fairly sure that our feedlot cows, eating alfalfa and corn, were producing a richer and more pig pleasing product.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

Thunderbox's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

I see we can`t give direct links to previous PR submissions any more. It took me a while to find, Chief, but your reference to pigs eating shit made me think of this PR poem, from the Pooetry section:

A Tibetan Dump

Another fart rattles the window
Heralding the start of a dawn glow.
Bowels awakening after the night,
It's time to set out and have a shite.
At 16000 feet
It's a test,
as the light picks out
Mount Everest
To stumble the few yards up the road,
Find the cold squatter, and drop my load.

Split by knee-high walls without a door
Are two long slots in the concrete floor.
A wrinkled old man squats in the first
Straining and grunting, fit to burst.
Hunkering down
I take a quick peek,
As the icy chill
Stings my butt cheeks,
To see a plank sloping to the ground
Where wild dogs and a pig mill around.

The freezing wind attacks my ringpiece
Causing the rapid and smooth realease
Of a mighty turd, which, tumbling fast,
Skips right down the plank to reach at last
The squealing pig
And scabrous dogs,
Who fight for and eat
My steaming logs,
While the old man's still grunting -- no luck;
But grins as if to say, "What the fuck?"

The voice of sanity

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Great pooetry T-Box. The thought of eating pork fattened on turds might be unappealing to most but I can attest to the fact that I have eaten many veggies that were nourished by unprocessed human shit and don't seem to have suffered any ill effects from it.

I once rented a small house in Japan and had a landlady who raised a few crops next to my rental. She was an older woman, WW-2 widow, and one of the sweetest people I ever met. She would scoop a bucket of waste out of her outhouse, mix it with straw, and lovingly place a scoop of this mixture next to each plant in her garden. I ate tomatoes, eggplants, etc. that she gave me and seemed to maintain a high level of health.

We were cautioned by the military to avoid the local produce and never eat raw fish. I looked around and saw 100 million Japanese who ate these items and seemed to be healthy and long lived and decided to risk it.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Interesting thread. I know that humanure in the US is considered to have too many chemicals to be good for putting directly in the veggie garden. I would think, though, that a lot of people elsewhere eat foods not so full of additives, so their excreta would be OK in the veggie garden. I'm sure the plants don't much care where their nutrients come from.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Astute observation MSG, I don't know what the current trend is but in Japan back in the 1960s home refrigeration and freezer space was almost unheard of. The average housewife shopped daily for fresh veggies, meat, and fish and very few highly processed foods were eaten. I would love to live in a situation like that again where small markets were within walking distance of almost everyone's home and I could eat fresh every day.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

spattacus's picture
l 100+ points

I think the "Tang" dynasty must have noticed the um, extra flavour to the pork.

IBS NO MORE's picture
k 500+ points

Yes, very astute, MSG. And also sounds vaguely familiar, for some reason. Hmmmm...

By the way I'm printing this post to serve as kindling for processing my fecal fertilizer. I think I will call it "Pootash."

When you say the word “poop,” your mouth makes the same motion your butthole does when pooping…
The same can be said for the phrase “explosive diarrhea.”

Groom of the Stool's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

"I would assume that this menial task was carried out by a chamber maid, who also may have borne the responsibility of wiping the royal asshole free of any post poop debris; this, however, is mere conjecture on my part."

Conjecture no more! Look up my handle (Groom of the Stool) on Wikipedia. It's pretty much what you think it is. It was also a much sought-after position, offering the closest possible access to the monarch; the Groom of the Stool was often his/her closest confidant.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Dear Groom ... I have often wondered just what compensation was given to Henry VIII's groom of the stool. Wiping the massive ass of a royal who probably consumed huge quantities of meat could not possibly have been a pleasant task. But, on the other hand, wiping the probably petite and possibly stench free vent of Anne Boleyn may have been less of an unpleasant chore.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

El Scumbag's picture
k 500+ points

A splendid submission Chief! However, if you'll forgive my correction, your source material is slightly inaccurate. It is correct that Harrington presented his invention to Good Queen Bess, but it is incorrect to imply her pleasure at this gift, or that she planted her royal buttocks on the porcelain thereafter. She did not, as her initial reaction was one of horror and disgust. It actually took some time (it may even have been several years, if memory serves) before she could be compelled to use it, and only then infrequently.

The streets were indeed awash with ordure. The lucky wealthy folk who had roofs over their heads were indeed able to throw the contents of their pots from windows (with the cry "Gardy loo!" - adapted from the French "gardez l'eau", which means "watch out for the water" - although the term "loo" to mean "toilet" was not in common useage until many years later) , but most people did not have such a luxury as a pot to shit in or a window to throw it out of, so emptied their peasant arses wherever and whenever they could.

Swine and other assorted livestock did indeed roam the streets eating whatever they could, including dung, and shit was dilligently gathered up to be used for tanning leather, but these activities barely made a dent in the huge quantities of faeces being produced. Thankfully, England is a country where it rains frequently which meant that much of the shite was eventually washed away into the River Thames. These days we hardly give a thought to the drains which carry away the rainwater and prevent the streets being knee-deep in the stuff, but at the time even a mild shower would result in water flowing through the streets as if they were a gigantic system of gutters, eventually pouring into the river which many Londoners depended upon for their source of drinking water. It meant that for much of the year in London, both princes and paupers alike waded through streets that flowed with sewage, then eventually drank it.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Thank you Scummy for your corrections and additions to the article. I will admit that I only used one source for a majority of what I wrote and made a few assumptions.

As usual your comments are a pleasure to read since you are such an obvious master of the Queens English.

Don't be such a stranger, your writings are always a welcome addition to PR.

Cheers.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

Thunderbox's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Good to see you back, Scummy, you need to post more - we miss you!

One point, however, against your argument: urine was always the major ingredient in the tanning and dyeing process, not turds. I`ve seen it working in many countries; notably Fez in Morocco.

In Kano, northern Nigeria, they had a similar dyeing market. I had a long-unwashed pair of jeans (kind of cruddy and yukky from weeks of overlanding) and gave them to a lady in the market.

She asked if I wanted "full colour" - I said no, I`d like her creation....I came back to find genuine hippy tye-dye trousers. The fuckers never washed out! That`s the benefit (or not) of natural piss based dyes! They are fast and can`t be removed.

Still wore them though, and have them today!

The voice of sanity

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

American Indian women used urine in the tanning of deer hides when they wanted the finished product to be white. I have also read that Inuit women saved urine to use as a hair washing agent since the ammonia cut grease so well.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

Thunderbox's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Back in Samuel Pepys days (17th century), as Scummy pointed out, the streets were mostly running constantly with peoples piss and shit just lobbed out of houses onto the strret, or dropped there and then on the road as the urge took someone.

Water was undrinkable in those times unless you boiled it, so most folk drank beer (which through brewing was reasonably clean), albeit weak, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and later.

Nowadays if you have a couple of pints at lunchtime or a few after work, you`re labelled a jakey (alcoholic)!

The voice of sanity

Post new comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: s:62:"<em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <br>";
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.