What a Load of Crap

Many years ago, not sure how many but rather a lot anyway, houses had holes under them and a small lid over the hole.  These may well have been the first toilets and this was in a time called The Ancient World.  This was probably as most hunters know to bury their toilet waste and so when they had houses, this is what they did.

Scroll forward slightly to Ancient Egypt and I was surprised to find they had real toilets in their homes.  Even poor houses had wooden stools holes in the seats with probably a bucket underneath they had to empty every day.  The Indus Vallery people even had underground sewage systems which were flushed with water!  and the goddess of sewers called Cloacina looked after the poo of Rome.

One of the most jolting days of adulthood comes the first time you run out of toilet paper. Toilet paper, up until this point, always just existed. And now it’s a finite resource, constantly in danger of extinction, that must be carefully tracked and monitored, like pandas?”
― Kelly Williams Brown, Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

Although a flushing toilet was invented earlier people did not like it and refused to use it until a design by Alexander Cumming was patented in 1775.  Which sort of leads us to our loos/lavatories/heads/crappers/toilets now

Toilet Rolls

Before loo paper they used straw and probably whatever they could get their hands on…. really don’t want to think about that too much but, someone then invented toilet paper which came in large sheets.  The first toilet rolls appeared in England in the early 1900s and we owe that person a ton of thanks 🙂  However, saying that, what took us so long?  The Chinese were using paper to wipe their bots back in 6AD and were mass producing it in the 14th century.  I had to go to Wiki to find this snippet of information but, did you know that toilet paper has a LOT of different names…….

“bumf,” “bum wad,” “loo roll/paper,” “bog roll,” “toilet roll,” “bath tissue,” “dunny roll/paper,” “bathroom/toilet tissue,” “TP,” “arsewipe,” “shit tickets” (used informally by soldiers of the United States Army), and also simply “tissue.” (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper)

The last time I was in Spain I got through six Jeffrey Archer novels. I must remember to take enough toilet paper next time.
Bob Monkhouse

Image courtesy Nasa
Image courtesy Nasa

Being very serious for a minute, unfortunately there are many people today who still live in unsanitary conditions and toilets are foreign to them.  The World Toilet Organisation was formed in 2001 to improve toilets in the developing world.

Of course Nasa has had to do a LOT of work on toilets.  No, seriously, actually ON the toilet and about toilets.  Just how do you do it with no gravity and still not have a wet leg (r worse)?  The astronauts have cameras, when practising in their zero gravity simulator, to see how they are ‘performing’ and to check their position on this.  Because they are in zero gravity they even have to be tied to it. They have separate appliances attached to them for either need.

Toilet tissue goes into a separate container which is bagged and stored in the wet trash compartment for later disposal. Solid wastes are always brought back. After the shuttle lands, the WCS is removed and brought back to Houston, where it is sent to a local company to be emptied, cleaned, and reprocessed for the next flight. (source http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/people/journals/space/keith/05-25-98.html)  I am never again going to complain about carrying large packs home from the supermarket.

I could now go into the guy who paints with poo or the people who do art with wee but, nah……

It is quite fascinating what I found out whilst putting this together.  It is something we use everyday but take for granted, so I do hope you continue to find out more on your own.  I wrote this to bring you a little knowledge today, World Toilet Day.

Comments
  1. Profile photo of Kevin P Callahan
    // Reply

    This is good stuff. I grew up in a home with no toilets, until we moved when I was 12. We, my grandparents, and a fair number of other families I knew all had outhouses. The little wooden house with a board and two holes, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. TP could be (and was sometimes)old feed sacks and catalog pages. I can tell you I do not miss the outhouse.