Noble toilet: the most revolutionary invention in the history of human civilization?

Noble toilet: the most revolutionary invention in the history of human civilization?

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According to Gary loughkun, a geneticist at Harvard University, toilets are the biggest variable among many factors to prolong human life. Modern public health facilities have extended the average life span of human beings by 20 years. So the biggest milestone in medicine over the past 200 years has been not penicillin or birth control pills, but "sanitation."



"Toilet" is an embarrassing topic, except for Albert Elias and Alexandre killa, almost no one is involved in the culture of public toilets. What's more, when a journal asked for articles from the society under the title of "toilet paper: building public toilets by gender", a reader of new standard responded contemptuously: "this represents the poor bankruptcy of human knowledge and morality! comfort station! Has it fallen to this level? "
But what is not known is that, according to the anchorage statistical survey of British Medical Journal in 2007, the biggest milestone in the medical field in the past 200 years is not penicillin or contraceptive, but modern "sanitary equipment".
In 19th century London, where sewage facilities were poor, half of all infants died; when toilets, sewage anchor systems and people were used to washing their hands with soap, the child mortality rate dropped by a fifth. This is the biggest drop in child mortality in British history.


Thus, Harvard geneticist Gary loughkun believes that toilet is the biggest variable among many factors to prolong human life, and modern public health facilities extend the average life span of human beings by 20 years. People with good health facilities are less likely to get sick and have less time off from work, so their medical expenses are correspondingly reduced. Research data show that for every $1 invested in health facilities, an average return of $7 is achieved in terms of medical cost savings and productivity gains. As early as 1875, Joseph Chamberlain, the mayor of Birmingham, said that the annual cost of miners and medical care caused by preventable diseases was up to 54000 pounds, two to three times the cost of building health facilities.
Fifty thousand lives?
The birth of modern sewage system is related to a great plague in London. At that time, as the cost of excretion rose - the wages of cleaners rose to 6p per night, people found it easier to save money by pouring feces directly into covered waterways. Since they are covered up, who cares? And, more importantly, who will go to see it? So, by 1815, it was so common that the city of London had no choice but to allow people to connect their drains to their sewers. Then came the question. These sewers all lead directly to the Thames. By 1840, as Thomas Cupid, a Victorian architect, said in testimony to the town health act in a small special committee of Parliament: "the Thames is now a huge dung pond, and no longer needs a dung pit for each person."


In this case, all kinds of diseases will grow and spread, the most terrible of which is cholera. The main carrier of cholera is human excrement. In good sanitary conditions, the separation of water and feces can inhibit the spread of cholera. In London in the early 19th century, however, five of the nine local water management companies drew water directly from the Thames for human consumption. This is the hotbed of cholera. The first plague in 1831 killed 6536 people. In the plague of 1848-49, 50000 people died in Britain, 14000 in London.
At that time, as the newly popular toilet discharged more sewage into the already full cesspit or sewer, it was accused of bringing more fear but did not solve any problems.
When public health experts talk about the disaster, they will never forget Dr. John snow. It was he who was the first to realize that cholera was transmitted in the feces, which in turn polluted the water source, leading to the plague. On a Friday morning in 1854, Dr. John snow removed a pump handle from Broadway. This historic move stopped the spread of the plague. From then on, it ended Edwin Chadwick's misconception that "discharging sewage directly into the Thames may harm the river, but it can protect people's health". Britain began to build sewers, and flush toilets no longer had to carry black pots. This is the source of London's famous bazaar gate sewer system.
The popularity of modern toilets?

In addition, modern public toilets were also put on the agenda during this period. At the 1851 world industrial exposition, George Jennings built a public toilet for the Crystal Palace. 827280 tourists paid to use the toilet. However, most of the later buildings still choose not to build toilets due to the consideration of cost. In 1858, George Jennings proposed to build "toilets suitable for the development stage of modern civilization" in "those eye-catching plague areas that make big cities criticized":高贵的厕所:人类文明史上最革命的发明?

"I know this topic is unusual and difficult to deal with, but we should not ignore the issues that affect the health and comfort of millions of people because of false elegance. These people shuttle between your cities every day A nation's civilization can be measured by its indoor and sanitary appliances. Although my proposal may be unacceptable, I firmly believe that one day, there will be a well-equipped stop (public toilet) in all places where people gather. Imagine this: every time after using the toilet, a respectable waiter carefully scrubbed each toilet with wet leather products for fear of being fired. He would also give customers clean wipes, combs and toothbrushes that they might use. Shoemakers can also do shoeshine business in it, because many people would rather wear dirty shoes to go away than stand there and let others stare at their dirty shoes. "
But the proposal was not accepted until the 1870s. Coincidentally, across the English channel, until 1871, the city hall of Paris still had no sanitation facilities. In "commemorating the 100th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Paris city hall" published in 1982, all aspects of this magnificent building, including heating, lighting, telephone and elevator, were introduced in detail, but the health facilities were not mentioned. It's no coincidence that there's no sanitation in the opera house designed by Charles Garnier. "Lavatory basins and buckets are part of the building, but they cannot be the object of a revolutionary transformation of the art," he explains in his book the new theatre in Paris

Therefore, when people enjoy the elegant art in this new theatre, they have to hold for hours or prepare their own urinal. This seems ridiculous today, but it was extremely normal at that time. A typical feature of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century was its self-control over the body. The first lesson for children at school is to learn how to get rid of the "lower body functions" in order to deal with salon social interaction in the future. In the high society, it is considered the most impolite behavior to escape salon for a moment. No wonder some salons have such slogans as "endure for a while, but not for many years."高贵的厕所:人类文明史上最革命的发明?

If internal emergency is not solved, it will cause serious consequences. Doctors have known this since ancient times. But the real implementation and appearance in the salon, popular in the society, or in the modern. 1883 was a landmark year in the campaign to promote the health of modern toilets. In addition to technological progress in a strict sense, it should also be pointed out that social popularization is of equal importance. Doctors play an important role here. At a meeting of the health and Housing Commission in Paris on April 16, 1883, Dr. Napier questioned some of his colleagues, arguing that their argument of 25 people using a toilet was entirely empirical. He boldly points out that this number is bound to be a cause of health damage. In his opinion, every house must have its own toilet. But he also knows that this requirement is "too radical and completely revolutionary" in the eyes of many people. Because at that time, the figures that you can see when you open a health report are: "22 tanelli street, 70 people share a toilet. 135 Italian Avenue, 40 people share a toilet. 41 eskilol street, 60 people share two toilets. " Ten years later, the administration finally recognized the principle that anchor toilets should be attached to the interior of each house, and issued a decree in 1894. But this is after people have paid a heavy price for their lives. In 1892, the last cholera outbreak in the 19th century killed 1797 people in Sena province. Compared with the slow development of modern residential toilets, public toilets are blooming rapidly due to the strong promotion of dealers. "In 1873, the municipal government decided to build a batch of public urinals for men: 14 urinals in two locations were built by Mr. guron; Mr. Victor Martin will build 62 urinals in six locations and 64 urinals in different sizes with their backs against the wall corners," according to a Paris bidding record. All these buildings shall be equipped with branch lighting. In 1876, a man named frapar won the bid to provide such equipment. " This new type of urinal has a unique shape. We only introduce a classic one - this is a two row back-to-back urinal made of cast iron built by architect demuza, which has been used for a hundred years. Two pillars beside the urinal stand on one of the capitals, on which there is a sign for advertising. The urinal has a heavy wooden door to allow the user to fully stand in the toilet.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the doors had disappeared, replaced by fixed metal baffles with small holes in the top. On the side of the road, people saw urinals in three places, with a small tool room for cleaners. Two such behemoths can offer five to six positions. Like all urinals, they have gas lights on top. The installation of the public urinal for men is progressing rapidly, and in the early years of the Third Republic of France, it was also an election chip. By 1914 at the latest, residents of all urban areas in Paris required the installation of such facilities.
But municipalities have never considered women's toilets. A well behaved woman should know to restrain herself, a principle that was part of "good education" in 19th century boarding schools. But since the Second Reich, rich ladies have been able to use the ladies' toilets on the streets of Paris. In 1865, there was already a "toilet for five students" in the square of St. selbis. In the same year, Madeleine city also had some "15 toilet". These buildings are very elegant. The roof is a small tower decorated with leaf tips and elves. In 1879, a toilet contractor proposed "to set up toilets on the streets of Paris not only for men, but for both men and women." It was not until 10 years later that the motion was echoed. The minutes of a meeting on May 11, 1891, wrote that although some women could enter the toilet for luxury, women without financial resources would still suffer from the constant distress. The administration is therefore urged to submit a report to the City Council in order to proceed with the construction of free toilets for women on public roads.


Dorio, an expert, proposed a two position urinal with a housekeeper in front of it, where she could sell flowers and small items. Dorio's company asked the authorities to allow them to build 100 such facilities, which could be financed through advertising - for 25 years - and provide water and gas free of charge. These new toilets are totally different from their predecessors. The floor is mosaic, the ceramic toilet uses a water pumping device, the toilet seat is made of mahogany, and there are two ventilation windows to ensure air circulation. This kind of free public toilets should have been recognized by all progressive people, but some people find the hidden immoral factor in this seemingly "harmless" plan: it is unsafe to sell flowers in such toilets. Because men can't be forbidden to come and buy flowers, and stop there to pretend to pick flowers, the doorwoman may also act as a pimp. "It's impossible for men and women to come and go in too narrow aisles without physical contact, which will certainly offend women's very natural and reasonable sense of shame," said a member of Parliament who specializes in female psychology in a pedantic way Almost as now, the experts who identify shame are usually men, but no one has ever consulted women about women's toilets. In this way, the women's toilet plan was aborted.
It was not until the early 20th century that the problem of women's toilets was really solved by building a subway in Paris. On February 1, 1905, the underground toilet company opened a real public toilet in the underground of the flower market in Madeleine square. The building area is 165 square meters, the ceiling height is 3.4 meters, and there are 22 urinals for men, which are made of coarse porcelain, automatic flushing, 13 urinals, and another toilet. The public toilet is equipped with 14 toilets and 4 washrooms with lower body wash basins for women. The ground is made of white glazed bricks, which were popular at that time. The wall is inlaid with thick ceramic tiles and solid mahogany products. The exposed water pipes are made of copper. The lighting conditions are good. The roof is made of glass bricks, equipped with electric lights and, of course, ventilation equipment. But the public toilet is still charged. Only 0.1 franc for urinal; 0.15 franc for urinal plus lavatory; 0.2 franc for cold and hot water lavatory. The public toilet is open from 7 a.m. until midnight. As for the maintenance and supervision, three male janitors are responsible for the men's toilets and three female janitors are responsible for the women's toilets. Since then, other toilets of the same type have been put into use on Victoria Avenue, bernoulville Avenue and Bastille square.
Public toilets call for revolution?
If modern health facilities protect human beings from diseases, the addition of intelligent technology will prolong human life. According to the World Health Statistics 2011 issued by the World Health Organization, Japan's life expectancy in 2009 was 83 years, ranking first in the world. There are many reasons for longevity, but one thing we all agree on is good sanitation and cleaning habits. Japan's smart toilets are indeed the world's leading in this respect, perhaps that's why Japan has become the world's longest living country.
Now, if you're going to Japan for the first time, you may be confused about their toilets. There are many buttons on a toilet, and there is a strange spray head in the toilet. I did not know which is the key for flushing, but I found the strange "front button". Then I mistakenly press a key, and I spray myself with water. This is the inconvenience their intelligent toilet brings to "foreigners". The Japanese, who are used to it, can no longer live without it. The wealthy Japanese society in the 1970s was no longer satisfied with the dangerous, dirty, dark, stinking latrines. The sanitary ware company took a good look at the market demand and launched a toilet with bath function.
In sharp contrast to Japan's smart toilets, there are 2.6 billion people in the world who have no sanitation at all. They peed everywhere in the fields and woods. Women have to get up at 4 a.m. and defecate when it's still dark. Sometimes they risk being raped and bitten by vipers. Another 40% of the world's people live in an environment full of human excrement. Children may step on or fall into a cesspit when playing, and feces are likely to get into food and drinking water.


"When it comes to water and sanitation, the world begins to suffer from lengthy meetings and lack of action," said several compilers of the UNDP publication Human Development Report 2006 There are many reasons for this phenomenon. The responsibility for health is very unclear: there are 23 programmes under the United Nations that have some responsibility for health, but none of them lead. Every year, 1.8 million children die at anchor points due to drinking water and sanitation problems, a huge number that exceeds the number of deaths in any armed conflict. No terrorist activity can bring such a disaster to the earth as the crisis of drinking water and sanitation. However, this issue has hardly been put on the agenda of international activities.
Similar concerns are also lacking outside the United Nations. There are toilet associations in Japan and Britain, but they only sweep the snow in front of the door. Japan has designated November 10 as the national Toilet Day. The annual toilet competition in the UK was very successful, but the participants were all from the sanitary industry. There are no global organizations working to improve the state of world health.
In 1996, a successful Singaporean businessman, Shen Ruihua, saw an article by the Prime Minister of Singapore calling for people to improve "social public morality". This article inspired his thinking. After he looked around the world at public toilets, he established the Singapore Toilet Association in 1998 and began to establish a global organization plan. Shen Ruihua founded the World Toilet Organization in 1999. To date, WCO has held eight WC events with more than 4000 participants. WCO has also set up a WCI in Singapore. They also plan to set up a health peace prize, a toilet Development Bank, a low interest loan of $100 to the poor, and encourage them to build toilets.
Modern sanitation isolates humans from their own toxic waste. Every city has a sewerage system to discharge the waste to a certain place, and then a larger sewerage system to deal with it. People can't see or smell. Health facilities are the foundation of modern city construction, and also the guarantee for all living beings to live in the city with high density.
Toilet is a barrier to prevent human feces from causing various hazards. The history of human toilet, like other human history, gives us a lot of inspiration. One of the most important is to liberate it from all kinds of social taboos.
Toilet is the barometer of human civilization. How a society deals with its excrement also reflects how it treats its citizens.
This article turns to Netease News