One of the first toilets similar to out modern day fixtures existed in India 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley. More then 2000 years ago in China there were water closets with seats and a flush system. In Egypt about 1400 BC toilets were connected to sewer system and located close to public bathrooms.
Ancient Greeks discovered that public toilets can be popular gathering centers. In many cities archaeologist discovered their toilets could be used by more then 50 people at the same time. Of course there were no separate cabins or dividers which could obstruct the discussion of important political matters.
Romans were the first to turn public toilets into a business. They created paid public toilets. And that is most likely were the Latin saying “pecunia non olet” (money does not stink) comes from.
The European Middle Ages from a hygienic point of view was very bleak. For centuries people considered a bath as detrimental to health and toilets disappeared from homes. Even the residents of the palace of Versailles in France would complain about the lack of facilities. These conditions exited in Europe up to the end of the 19th century.
Precursors of a new technology came from England. The popular symbol “WC” means Water Closet. The modern Water Closet was invented by Mr. Harrington in 1596 and in 1728 also an Englishman, J. Brondel created a toilet with an automatic flush. In 1775 his countryman Mr. Cummings improved the toilet by adding the “S” trap. This prevented smells from the sewer systems from backing up into the house. In 1819 Mr. Giblin patented the first system for a flushing toilet. This system is still used today.
In 1980, Australian Bruce Thomas invented the water conserving toilet flush, with two flush options of various volumes.