Thomas Crapper Day is celebrated every year on January 27, the death anniversary of the famous English businessman and plumber. While Thomas Crapper was not the inventor of the toilet (a common misconception), he did perfect and promote it. While the original flush toilet was functional, Crapper added a dash of elegance to the design. His designs even saved water by adding the ballcock that stops water flowing into the toilet when the tank is full. Thomas Crapper Day is a day of celebration for this man and all he did to bring a revolutionary change in the toilet world.
History of Thomas Crapper Day
Since the beginning of human existence, there has been human excretion. For many years, and even today in certain developing countries, humans were compelled to excrete openly. This was unhygienic and dangerous as it led to many fecal-oral and waterborne diseases. Very early on, people recognized the need for proper sanitation. Around fourth century B.C., sewers and toilets were invented in Mesopotamia. The Indus Valley Civilization housed the first urban sanitation system, and Mohenjodaro built toilets into the walls of houses. The Roman Civilization used latrines and the Greeks started to use chamber pots. These early toilets often employed some sort of flushing or flowing water mechanism, however, there were also many versions of dry toilets.
In modern history, chamber pots, cesspits, and cesspools were used for a long time. It wasn’t until the 19th century that health experts emphasized sanitation and pushed for the development of an underground network of pipes to carry away solid and liquid waste. Known as the water closet back then, this new toilet system didn’t become widely used until the late 19th century. Toilets had been invented, but the emergence of Thomas Crapper in the toilet world sped things up. In the 1880s, he set up The Crapper & Co. showroom in London. He patented and manufactured sanitary appliances such as pipe joints, drain improvements, manhole covers, and water closet improvements like the floating ballcock.
Thomas Crapper did not invent the first water closet, but he perfected and promoted it immensely. Through his bathroom fixture showrooms, he popularized flush toilets like no other. Fast forward to today, water closets are widespread in different parts of the world, and Thomas Crapper played a role in making toilets the way we know them today.
Thomas Crapper Day timeline
The very first toilets and sewers emerge in Mesopotamia.
Sir John Harington invents the flushing toilet.
Alexander Cumming and Joseph Bramah create an updated version of the water closet.
Thomas Crapper establishes his company and changes the crapper world forever.
Thomas Crapper Day FAQs
What did Thomas Crapper invent?
While Thomas Crapper made some notable improvements in the sanitary world, he is known for the invention of the floating ballcock.
Is Thomas Crapper alive?
No, Thomas Crapper passed away on January 27, 1910. His death anniversary is observed as Thomas Crapper Day every year.
Why do we call toilets “crappers?”
It is believed that American soldiers in Europe saw “T. Crapper” or “Crapper” written on public toilets, started calling them that, and brought the association home with them.
Thomas Crapper Day Activities
Visit the crapper
Go to the toilet and maybe (in a NOT weird way) say a little “thank you” to Thomas Crapper as you conveniently flush away. Without this invention, we’d certainly be left in the lurch!
See the crapper
There are still certain manhole covers in London with Crapper’s name on them. In fact, you can also find some of his old toilets in the region. If you have the chance, take this day to go out and spot them.
Learn about Crapper
If this is your first introduction to Thomas Crapper, or you are simply curious to learn more, research his different patents in the sanitary world. There are even published books that mention him.
5 Not-So-Gross Facts About Toilets
There’s technology involved
According to a study, the more apps you have on your phone, the longer you spend on the toilet.
They can be dangerous
King George II died falling off a toilet in 1760.
On average, a person uses the toilet 2,500 times a year.
We go way back
The oldest functioning toilet is 4,000 years old and is in Greece.
Over seven million Americans have dropped their phones in the toilet — yuck.
Why We Love Thomas Crapper Day
It celebrates the importance of improvements
The advancements Thomas Crapper made to improve and promote the toilet changed the world. Thomas Crapper Day is a chance for us to recognize his efforts.
It keeps us grounded in history
The history and different steps that lead to anything keep us grounded. This includes the fact that we can conveniently and hygienically flush from the comfort of our homes.
It’s a fun day
For real, who wouldn’t smile hearing that it’s Thomas Crapper Day? It’s a fun name and fun holiday dedication, and we’re here for it.
Thomas Crapper Day dates