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.
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.
Starting in the 1920s, all new single-family houses had to be constructed with indoor bathrooms.
Before about 1890, toilet paper (or “curl paper”) was sold in flat packs. The Scott brothers changed all that.
In its pre-Mr. Whipple days, Charmin was the first toilet-paper manufacturer to market to women. It worked like gangbusters.
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.
The Japanese love fancy toilets. Toilets with heated seats and wall-mounted control panels are the norm in Japan.
It’s a combination toilet-bidet made by Japanese firm Toto.
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.
The Smart Toilet, manufactured by (surprise, surprise) Japanese firm Matsushita, can check your blood pressure, temperature and blood sugar.
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.