Why is a Bathroom Referred to as a John?

bathroomLooking at the history of the bathroom, the facts show that John Harrington invented a device similar to the toilet in 1596. He was an important figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth I and he made the device for the Queen. Eventually the toilet became known as the john.

The Truth about the John Crapper Myth

There is a widespread belief that a man named John Crapper invented the toilet. That is not the case. What happened is that people confused John Harrington of the Queen’s court with that of Thomas Crapper.

Crapper did not invent the toilet. What happened was this: after Harrington’s invention, other researchers tried to make improvements on the device. According to the history of the bathroom, it was Crapper who invented the valve and siphon combination in 1891. This would pave the way for the modern flushing toilet.

Crapper’s invention became very popular in England. During World War I, American soldiers were stationed in the country. Because crapper brass was printed on it, Americans started calling it the crapper.


Records show that as far back as 3,000 BC civilizations had already started using primitive forms of toilets. Different civilizations came up with various designs. The most basic consisted of bricks with holes where people would sit. These weren’t just holes; they were connected to drainage beneath the streets.

The history of the bathroom indicates that even the Egyptians used one. Archaeologists also discovered that in ancient India and Pakistan, there were already water flushing toilets around. The Persians also made use of this device. The ancient Romans were famous for their large public baths, but toilets were also installed nearby.


During the Elizabethan times the toilets did not have a flush. It wasn’t until the Victorian era that the flushing toilets were designed. It was only during that period when the link between an unsanitary environment and illnesses were made. It was in 1885 when Thomas Twyford created the vitreous china toilet. The design would soon be copied by other manufacturers.

A study of the history of the bathroom will show that it would make its way to America as it became popular in Europe. From 1875 onwards various types of toilets would be invented.

As their use became widespread, it would eventually become a part of almost every household. The inventions would continue to improve and eventually it eliminated the problems of methane gas coming out. By the end of World War I, the toilet had become a permanent fixture in most American homes.


Increasing knowledge shows that a lot of diseases do come from unsanitary habits and places. It only showed how important it had become. In impoverished parts of the world, the lack of sanitation leads to the spread of disease. Studies have also shown that it was the reason why bathing came into use once again in the Middle Ages.

Today it is not uncommon for large homes to have several bathrooms. Technological advances have also made it possible to resolve other problems when flushing away wastes.

The history of the bathroom is a fine example of how people quickly realized the need for sanitation. Over time, it became a critical part of homes and modern civilization itself.

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