Quiz: The History of the Modern Toilet



By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Take our quiz to find out how much you know about loos, johns, WCs and potties — and a certain country that's way ahead of the curve when it comes to toilet technology.

Who is usually credited with being the inventor of the flushing toilet?

The Englishman Thomas Crapper did patent a toilet-flushing mechanism in 1891, and the name makes for a funny story, but he didn't invent the flushing toilet. In actuality, his countryman Joseph Adamson invented the siphon flush toilet in 1853, which was really the first modern toilet.


In what decade did building codes in the United States start requiring indoor bathrooms for new residences?

Starting in the 1920s, all new single-family houses had to be constructed with indoor bathrooms.


When was toilet paper first sold on a roll?

Before about 1890, toilet paper (or “curl paper”) was sold in flat packs. The Scott brothers changed all that.


What company adopted a feminine logo and started touting the advantages of soft toilet paper in 1928?

In its pre-Mr. Whipple days, Charmin was the first toilet-paper manufacturer to market to women. It worked like gangbusters.


In 1994, a U.S. federal law was passed that restricted toilets to how many gallons of water per flush?

The first low-flow toilets used 1.6 gallons per flush, but they didn’t work all that well. Modifications had to be made to toilet passageways to let the reduced flow move more easily.


This country is home to many, many high-tech toilets.

The Japanese love fancy toilets. Toilets with heated seats and wall-mounted control panels are the norm in Japan.


What’s a Washlet?

It’s a combination toilet-bidet made by Japanese firm Toto.


Patrons of public urinals in Japan can play “Toylet,” a game by this video-game manufacturer.

Sega tested the Toylet in a few Tokyo restrooms in 2011. Players can measure the strength of their urine stream and also play games by aiming their “hoses” in different directions.


What can the Smart Toilet do?

The Smart Toilet, manufactured by (surprise, surprise) Japanese firm Matsushita, can check your blood pressure, temperature and blood sugar.


In 2011, Kohler introduced the “Numi,” a high-tech toilet with a built-in speaker system. How much does it cost?

The Numi also has a self-opening and closing lid, a self-cleaning bidet, a deodorizer and a touch panel remote. It sells for a cool $6,400.


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