Top 10 Moments in Toilet History

Think you know everything there is to know about the porcelain throne? Test your knowledge with this gallery.

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To celebrate the latest bathroom-related news, here's a short list of other top moments in toilet history. Think you know the ins and outs of the throne? Click to find out.
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As you probably already know, for centuries, the only way to excuse oneself was to, well, squat. Shown here is a watercolor of a woman relieving herself, made in 1799 by Isaac Robert Cruikshank. The caption says "Indecency," and written above her head, "What are you staring at?" Quite.
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The Romans fared somewhat better on the sanitation front. Check out these ruins of a Roman latrine at the Domus of Triclini, headquarters of the guild of builders. It's dated to the 2nd century AD, located near Rome. Latrines usually dumped directly into the sewer.
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No, those aren't decorative bowls. Until indoor plumbing was a thing, chamber pots were widespread. Used mostly by women, the pots were simply dumped out windows, or into cess-pits.
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Those who are bedridden due to injury, diseases such as Alzheimer's, or surgery rely on bedpans. Constructed of stainless steel or plastic, these modern day chamber pots provide relief.
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Thomas Crapper, George Crapper and Robert M Wharam are shown in this image from the 1902 catalog of Thomas Crapper and Company. Thomas Crapper (1837-1910) started a plumbing business in Chelsea, London in 1861 and pioneered some of the most revolutionary designs of sanitary engineering in the 19th century - however the Crapper family did NOT invent the modern flush toilet.
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The inventor of the flush toilet was Sir John Harington, who came up with the idea and installed a working prototype for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I. Shown here is one of the wash-down closets created by the Crapper family, dated 1902. This one is called "The Cedric." All images reproduced must have the correct credit line. Clients who do not print a credit, or who print an incorrect credit, are charged a 100% surcharge on top of the relevant reproduction fee. Storage of this image in digital archives is not permitted. For further information contact the Science & Society Picture Library on (+44) 207 942 4400.
This gimmick-laden throne, produced in 1989. could tell its health-minded users whether they were sick or not. The intelligent toilet, co-developed by three Japanese companies, released a piece of litmus paper to measure the vital data of the user and display them on a screen. The user also could measure blood pressure and pulse by inserting a finger into a blood pressure device seen on the other side of the toilet.
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Ever wonder what goes into making a space toilet? Well, as you could probably imagine, trying to keep waste at bay in zero gravity is no easy feat. For the Space Shuttle toilet, high-powered fans were used to keep waste in secure containers. Here is a view of a "Space Toilet" seen at The Emerging Museum of Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan.
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...And here is Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, laughing as he looks at the "Space Toilet" in a "Space Habitation Module" at Miriaikan, The Emerging Museum of Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan, 2008.
You may have heard of the futuristic-toilet manufacturer, TOTO. The company has made some of the worlds most advanced toilets, including the "Toilet Bike Neo" shown here in Tokyo. The eco-friendly, 3-wheel, 250cc motorcycle has a customized toilet-shaped seat that runs on bio-fuel from the discharge of livestock or waste water. The Neo series includes temperature control, hands-free flushing, adjustable water spray features and a ton other options.
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Perhaps one of the most interesting developments in the world of toilets: The anti-potty trainers, or practice of "elimination communication." "EC" includes learning the child's cues for when she needs to use the toilet - which, inevitably, results in spills and "misses" during early stages. Those who embrace the trend point out its eco-friendly-ness (no diapers in landfills), never having to change a diaper or deal with diaper rash.
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