Thomas Crapper exact date of born is unknown but he was baptized on September 28, 1836; died January 27, 1910. Crapper was a plumber who founded Thomas Crapper & Co in London. At 14 years of age he was apprenticed to a Master Plumber in Chelsea, London. After serving his apprenticeship and then working as a journeyman, he set up in his own right in 1861 as a plumber in Robert Street, Chelsea. Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. He did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet, and developed some important related inventions, such as the ballcock. Thomas Crapper & Co owned the world's first bath, toilet and sink showroom, in King's Road until 1966. The flushing toilet was invented by John Harrington in 1596. Joseph Bramah of Yorkshire patented the first practical water closet in England in 1778. George Jennings in 1852 also took out a patent for the flush-out toilet. In a time when bathroom fixtures were barely spoken of, Crapper heavily promoted sanitary plumbing and pioneered the concept of the bathroom fittings showroom. Crapper held nine patents, three of them for water closet improvements such as the floating ballcock, but none was for the flush toilet itself. Thomas Crapper did serve as the royal sanitary engineer for many members England's royalty, but contrary to popular myth, he was never knighted, and thus isn't entitled to use the term "Sir" before his name. The most famous product attributed to Thomas Crapper wasn't invented by him at all. The "Silent Valveless Water Waste Preventer" (No. 814) was a symphonic discharge system that allowed a toilet to flush effectively when the cistern was only half full. British Patent 4990 for 1898 was issued to a Mr. Albert Giblin for this product. There are a couple of theories on how Thomas Crapper came to be associated with this device. First, is that Giblin worked for Crapper as an employee and authorized his use of the product. The second, and more likely scenario,...
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