Tour Locations | At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour
LOCATION 11 | At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour
1596: Sir John Harrington, the saucy godson of Queen Elizabeth I invented the first mechanized flush toilet, which he names the Ajax.
He only ever built two in his lifetime… one for himself and one for his godmother. He then got banished from court for his writings which critiqued the aristocracy. A prolific poet, he wrote many epigrams including this:
“To keep your house sweet mend privy vaults
To keep your souls sweet mend privy faults”
With his banishment the flush toilet disappeared for almost 200 years more.