At present, 2.4 billion People do not have the basic human right of adequate sanitation. 1 billion still have to defecate in the open.
What’s the origin of flush toilets that we use today?
Ancient Rome 古罗马
公元一到四世纪的罗马城人口膨胀, 交通拥堵, 高楼林立, 充满宇宙中心气质, 吸引了那个时代最为野心勃勃荡气回肠的人物: 高卢骑士、埃及祭司、希腊医生、西班牙水手、塞浦路斯妓女、中东商人…罗马也配备了完善又前卫的公共设施。
The ancient Romans designed and constructed the first flush toilets. In Roman cities, an invisible pipe was laid along one side of the road. Water inside the pipe was drawn from a canal. Above it were stone boards with holes. That’s the earliest public restroom, used by both men and women.
Homes of ordinary Romans in the 1st century AD were only for sleeping in. They didn’t contain kitchens or bathrooms. People had to go outside for infrastructural services. They paid for the public restrooms provided by the government. The users sat on a long marble bench with key-hole shapes cut into it, with a small trough in the floor in front of them running with clean water, flushing the waste away. These lavatories were more like a social networking venue, with people chatting with each other, discussing politics and planning parties.
公厕更像一个社交场合, 大家闲聊、开玩笑、谈政治、约饭、缝衣服….心情似乎并不受气味的影响。现在的意大利人依然给人健谈的印象, 可见社交热情早已写在基因里了。
The restrooms were decorated with niches and statues, and the walls were painted with vibrant colours. Toilet rolls were also available, sort of. Actually they were sponges instead of paper. Some lavatories even had a heat supply.
BritainModern flush toilets (both squatting and sitting versions) were invented by the British.In 1595, Queen Elizabeth I complained about the stink in her palace, caused by the toilets that hadn’t been cleaned. Sir John Harington, inspired by lavatories he’d seen in Italy, invented and installed flush toilets for Her Majesty’s pleasure.
伊丽莎白一世但抽水马桶在没有排污管道, 没有自来水, 也不怎么有钱的时候, 对大多数人是天方夜谭。所以大众还要依靠 "夜间掏粪人"。
In the late 18th Century, British inventor Joseph Bramah improved the design of toilets and obtained the patent rights in 1778.
Inventor Joseph Bramah
东汉许慎在《说文解字》里写道, 厕者, 清也。可见中国人早年很在意厕所是不是干净。Flush toilets could also be found in ancient China in Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC—249 BC). They were exclusively used by the royal family.厕所第一次进入中国青史便带有血腥味。《左传》记载, 春秋五霸之一的晋国君主晋景公因如厕时意外坠落而一命呜呼, 因为当时的厕所蹲坑下面埋有两米深的缸。晋侯怎么不站稳一点呢。想穿越回先秦的小伙伴三思啊Chinese toilets flourished in the Han Dynasty (202 BC—220 AD) throughout Chinese society. Men and women had separate public restrooms during that period. But women’s were fewer than men’s in number, mainly because females were not allowed to go out much.
汉代已经实现公共厕所男女分开汉墓中出土过画着厕所的《仆人涤器图》, 厕所建在大宅墙外, 周围有栏杆, 一个女仆拿着扫把清扫。在欧洲厕所流行坦诚相见时, 中国的已初具诗情画意。The design of restrooms changed little till the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In the Song Dynasty (960—1279), pits became fewer and fewer while toilets were commonly found in cities.据说慈禧太后有个 "如意桶", 桶底铺着黄沙, 再灌进水银, 桶外用宫锦绒缎套罩着, 看上去像一个绣花坐墩。
China certainly didn’t lag behind the world in terms of public restrooms and sanitation in ancient times. But things changed in the period of the Republic of China, when many people simply defecated in the open.The flush toilet invented by the British in the 18th Century mentioned above didn’t reach China until 200 years later.因为安装抽水马桶, 必须有完善的排水系统, 1908年, 京师自来水公司在北京成立, 随后才有下水道, 一些富人逐渐开始使用抽水马桶。但这项发明在中国的普及, 又花了一个世纪。Today北京第五代公厕 "第5空间" 样板间已投入使用,公厕增加了ATM存取款机、新能源汽车充电桩、wifi、电商终端、自动售水机等。Rest booths and shower rooms for attendants have also been built.