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HISTORY FACTS * The first bathrooms arrived later than you'd think *

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HISTORY FACTS * The first bathrooms arrived later than you'd think * Empty HISTORY FACTS * The first bathrooms arrived later than you'd think *

Post by Paul Sat 13 Jan 2024, 9:50 am

Bathrooms didn’t exist until the 19th century.




HISTORY FACTS * The first bathrooms arrived later than you'd think * Scree354





As difficult as it is to imagine, access to a full bathroom wasn’t a household norm until well into the 19th century. Though the flush toilet was invented in England in 1596, the general public still used chamber pots and outhouses for centuries after, as most houses didn’t have indoor plumbing. It wasn’t until the end of the 1800s — after inventor Alexander Cumming improved toilet design with the S-bend, which trapped smells — that toilets became common in homes, especially in upper-class households, and even then they were initially kept separate from the bathtub and sink, in a room referred to as the “water closet.” Noting the lack of sanitation caused by pipes and traps running from room to room, health care professionals began urging architects to streamline their plumbing into a single location. Architects relented, and the “bathroom” was born.
 
By the late 1800s, most upper-class homes in the United States and the U.K. were outfitted with a tub, toilet, and sink, and middle-class homes followed soon after. In the wake of the First World War, bathrooms became increasingly common in working-class households, but still weren’t universal in the United States until the middle of the 20th century. Advances in plumbing led to the mass-production of the affordable, two-piece toilets still used today, and made the bathroom a household staple.
Related:The ancient Egyptians were the first to divide the day into 24 parts.

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By the Numbers



  • Standard size (in inches) of a shower curtain

    72




  • First year that questions about bathrooms were included in the U.S. Census

    1940




  • Standard dimension (in inches) of today’s average toilet

    12




  • Percentage of American families who had their own bathrooms in 1940

    55%





DID YOU KNOW?

Queen Victoria brought bathrooms to Buckingham Palace.


Since indoor plumbing was still in its infancy at the time, London’s Buckingham Palace lacked a three-piece bathroom when Queen Victoria arrived in 1837. In the late 19th century, a sanitary engineer named Thomas Crapper developed the refillable tank and opened the bathroom fittings showroom — a venue in which bathroom fittings were displayed and available for purchase. This boosted the market for indoor plumbing and helped make toilets acceptable to the upper class. Concealed plumbing also made flushing toilets more aesthetically pleasing, and as bathrooms grew in popularity, so did their number at Buckingham Palace. After adopting the Optimus — a toilet created in 1870 whose pipes were concealed by a large chair — Queen Victoria arranged for full bathrooms to be installed at the royal residence in the late 1880s. Today, the palace boasts 78 working bathrooms.
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