Why a Toilet Is Called a John

Toilet is known by different names as some refer to it as toilet, some call it bathroom, others call it washroom and there are some who call it a John. A bit surprising for you and for many other people that why a toilet is called a John. Different explanations are there to answer this question like in view of some the name refers to your little boys or to your little girls. But this is not actually the case as this phenomenon is associated with the name of a person who invented the toilet, Sir John Harrington.

Who is John Harrington of Kelston?

John Harrington of Kelston was a master of art, a literary author and a courtier born on August 4, 1591. He was the one to whom the invention of the toilet was attributed and this is the reason most people refer the toilet as John. John Harrington is renowned for his writings and poetry. One of his best political allegory, ‘A new Disclosure of a State Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax’ published in 1596.

Toilet Why a Toilet Is Called a John

The abovementioned book was basically about the invention called Ajax derived from the word ‘jakes’ or ‘a jakes’ that is a synonym they used for the word toilet . It was because of this work that he gained a lot of popularity as he explicitly explained the vices and ills of the days in his work The Metamorphosis of Ajax.

The Invention of the Flush Toilet

Although, we know that American euphemism for the flush toilet has reinforced the John Harrington’s name into everyday language, he was actually not the one who invented the first toilet flush rather he was the one used it for the first time in his mansion. It is worth noting here that flush toilet didn’t appear during the lifetime of John Harrington.

In fact, flush toilet has been in use since long time back, to say early 26BC in the Indus Valley. Similarly, we have found traces of flush toilets usage in Knossos back in 18th century BC. The invention of flush toilet like many other inventions gone through many different phases in different civilizations before developed into its present form.

Forerunner of a Modern Invention

So, from above discussion we can conclude that we are yet not sure about who actually is behind the invention of flush toilet and simply credited it to John is full of doubt. But still we can say that the John Harrington’s invention was perhaps the prototype of the present invention. There are many names that are involved in making contributions in the development of flush toilet such as Thomas Twyford, Elvis Sloan, J. G. Jennings and many others.

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