Diagram of the Automatic Syphon Flushing Cistern

The History of the Flushable Toilet

Plumbing has a great history of amazing innovation and achievement, and every day we are able to use it to better our lives. Here is a brief history of the flushable toilet, brought to you by all of us here at Benicia Plumbing. 

Of all the plumbing developments that have happened throughout history, maybe none is more iconic than the flushable toilet. It's an invention that people throughout the world still use every day surely ranks high on the list of noteworthy technological achievements.

The basic premise behind the toilet, a device that efficiently flushes human waste out of a building and into a much wider a sewage system, is actually quite old. Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of complicated waste disposal networks located beneath the ruins of Indian civilizations in the Indus that date back as far as 3000 BC. 

Every household had a toilet connected via terra-cotta pipes to a sewage system that carried waste away from home and into a series of cesspits outside of the city. These various sanitation systems were quite advanced for the time and would not be rivaled for more than 2,000 years.

The very first known flushable toilet dates go back to roughly1700 BC on the Island of Crete. Located within a Minoan palace and flushed by pipes that channeled water collected in a series of cisterns, this ancient water closet was a marvel of classic ancient engineering. Credit for the first “modern” flushable toilet normally goes to Sir John Harrington, who designed and conceptualized a flushable water closet for himself and his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I of England, in 1597. Many folks claim this is why we call the toilet “the John,” but it’s not quite clear that this is the actual origin of the term, especially since the invention was not widely adopted.

About Benicia Plumbing

At Benicia Plumbing, Inc., we’ve been serving our clients since 1975 and always looking  to utilize the latest technology in today’s plumbing world. By providing complete plumbing services to businesses, industry, homebuilders and homeowners throughout the northern California Bay Area, we’ve been able to stay at the forefront of this industry and succeed at a high level. 

Sources: Wikipedia and homeadvisor.com