Here’s a Look at the History of the Toilet
Most of the time here on FWx, we talk about food going into our mouths. But there’s a part of the process that we rarely discuss.
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As the It’s Okay To Be Smart YouTube channel says in the opening to its new “How the Toilet Changed History” video, “The average person gets rid of approximately 130 grams of poop every day.” It’s a lot of gross stuff to think about, but just as foodies spend a lot of time thinking about what we put into our bodies, for generations, someone has had to think about what happens to all that waste once it comes out. In fact, proper disposal of poop is part of what has allowed society to thrive, helping to curb illness and death, as well as just gross and smelly conditions in general.
Related: Why Coffee and Poop are Best Friends
Granted, no one is going to put the superstars of sanitation among the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but maybe it’s time we stopped avoiding the subject and started discussing the importance of toilets? Would it really be so terrible to have a holiday honoring the inventor of the flush toilet, John Harington? I’m not saying we should exchange presents or anything, but... you know.
Probably even more important, however, isn’t the history of the toilet, but the modern lack thereof. According to the video, 2.4 billion people, about one in three people on Earth, still don’t have access to basic toilets. For the people living in these conditions, a lack of sanitation still causes serious problem – problems that modern society should be able to help address. So in many ways, the history of the toilet is still being written. There’s still time to add your name to the Mount Rushmore of Sanitary Defecation. Sure, it sounds silly, but it would make the world a better place.