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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Well... may I start by wishing you a Happy Thomas Crapper Day! My thanks go to Fiona Pavely of Shelan Communications for reminding me that today's the day for counting our blessings for the birth of Thomas Crapper (who died this day in 1910). If you're unfamiliar with the name, Mr Crapper is the 'gent' without whom we may not have become so 'engaged' with modern indoor bathroom facilities, as we have. Penny dropped yet?

Owner of the first bathroom showroom, Thomas Crapper publicised the toilet at a time when no-one spoke of such 'necessities'. Born in Yorkshire in 1836, he was apprenticed at the age of 14 to his brother, a Master Plumber in Chelsea, setting up as a plumber in his own right in 1861. He quickly gained a reputation for quality and service and by 1907 had established a flagship store on the King's Road in London.

Throughout his career, Thomas relentlessly promoted sanitary fittings and championed the 'water-waste-preventing cistern syphon', in particular. Innovative thinking may have advanced the WC to a level where it is now largely taken for granted domestically, but during the 1800s Thomas registered a number of patents, including the 'Disconnecting Trap' which became an essential underground drains fitting. His idea for a spring-loaded toilet seat was less successful however, becoming commonly known as 'the bottom slapper' and quickly ceasing production.

Having held four Royal Warrants and existed through five reigns over 150 years, Thomas Crapper & Co. continues to manufacture quality bathroom fittings today, 107 years after the death of its founder. While I'm not going to suggest we observe a two-minute silence, I couldn't help but acknowledge that had this gentleman not been so committed to his cause, I - and many of KBZine's readers, would probably not be enjoying the jobs we're in at the moment...



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Jan Hobbs



27th January 2017

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