When Were Toilets Invented? (Updated March ’20)

How many times does a person who needs to use the restroom stop and think about when toilets were actually invented? The truth is, the predecessor to the modern day toilet was actually invented as early as the 31st century, in ancient cultures half a world away. These incredibly advanced systems have been found by archaeologists in ancient civilizations. Perhaps the most astonishing thing is that these systems were far more advanced than anyone in modern times would have ever given civilizations that existed that far back credit for. While these systems would be considered crude by today’s standards, they were remarkably advanced considering what individuals had to work with at the time. In addition, work has been ongoing when it comes to advancements in technology concerning toilets, almost since the first ones were built.


When Were Toilets Invented?The more modern version of the toilet, which looks and performs more like the toilets that are in use today, was first developed in 1596. Most people would think that some primitive version of the modern toilet was first designed in the 1800s at the earliest. However, it was actually developed more than one hundred years before that. Of course, the first toilets became popular in Britain and they were only available to those individuals who were considered to be part of its aristocracy. Later on, many additional toilets were sold to individuals who had enough money to purchase them during the 1840s. These devices did not become available in the United States until sometime during the 1880s. Typically, they first appeared inside hotels and in the houses of extremely wealthy individuals, as these were the only people that could afford them at the time. It was not uncommon to see individuals who still did not have a toilet inside the house as late as the early 20th century. At approximately the same time that World War II began, it became prominent for almost every house to have at least one indoor toilet throughout the United States, even for those individuals who did not have a lot of money to throw around.


Of course, more advancements were made during the early 1900s, thereby improving on the original design of the flush toilet. The truth is, many of these improvements are still being used today, especially in public restrooms. If you have ever visited a public restroom at a venue and realized that the equipment seems rather antiquated, that is because it probably is. While homes and upscale businesses typically have modern bathrooms with the latest advancements in this technology, other venues and certain public places have a tendency to maintain older equipment that is far less advanced.


When it really comes down to it, the most important thing to remember is that life is a lot easier because of the invention of the flush toilet as it is known today. Some people would consider it to be a matter of convenience while others who have had to live without that convenience might realize how much more effective daily life is without having to deal without having a flush toilet in the house. In addition, many of the advancements that are currently used in modern homes are indeed a matter of convenience. They really don’t change the way that the system functions, they just make it seem nicer and more comfortable. That is essentially why public venues that use older systems are able to do exactly that without noticing any appreciable difference in system performance. The major difference is that home systems are made for comfort while public bathrooms are made to allow people access to a restroom when needed without providing all the comforts of home. It is interesting to think that all of this is possible because ancient civilizations decided that there had to be an effective way of dealing with human waste. That single idea has been capitalized on dozens of times since then. Without the forethought of the individuals who came up with it first, there is no telling where civilization would be when it comes to this matter. One thing is certain, restrooms are vastly different depending on where you visit around the globe. Those that are located throughout the United States are among some of the most advanced systems that are currently in operation. More importantly, they might not exist if it weren’t for the first systems that were designed in a more primitive manner.

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