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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Thomas Crapper

Thomas Crapper was born in Thorne, Yorkshire, in 1836; the exact date is unknown, but he was baptized on September 28, 1836. His father, Charles, was a sailor.

In 1853 Crapper was apprenticed to his brother George, who was a master plumber in Chelsea. After his apprenticeship and three years as a journeyman plumber, in 1861 Crapper set himself up as a sanitary engineer, with his own brass foundry and workshops in nearby Marlborough Road.

Thomas Crapper perfected the siphon flush, which, by drawing water uphill through a sealed cistern, is both effective and hygienic. He first demonstrated it in 1863.

When Prince Edward (later Edward VII) purchased his country seat of Sandringham House in Norfolk in the 1880s, he asked Thomas Crapper & Co. to supply the plumbing, including thirty lavatories with cedarwood seats and enclosures, thus giving Crapper his first Royal Warrant.

Portrait of Thomas Crapper, popularizer of the flush toilet.

Crapper retired in 1904, passing the firm to his nephew George and his business partner Robert Marr Wharam. He lived at 12 Thornsett Road, Anerley, for the last six years of his life and died on January 27,  1910. He was buried in the nearby Elmers End Cemetery.

Thomas Crapper & Co owned the world's first bath, toilet and sink showroom, in King's Road, London until 1966.

The word crap comes from medieval Latin and originally meant chaff or rubbish. His name is just a coincidence.

The biography of Thomas Crapper was called Flushed with Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper.

Sources Sunday Express, Wikipedia

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