While they are an undeniable necessity for everyday life, for most of us, a toilet is just a toilet and not much more. Toilets remain an afterthought for many of us, a silent luxury to our standard of living, at least until one isn’t available. Unbeknownst to many, the toilet is one of the most magnificent modern marvels to date.

For those of us here at Mr. John, we make it our duty to know everything about the toilet, inside and out. From portable toilet rentals and public restrooms to the private “john” in your home, here are some of our favorite and most fascinating facts about the toilet.

A Glance into the History of the Toilet

Sir John Harrington invented the first flushing toilet in 1596 at the request of his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, Sir Harrington’s invention is a big part of the American euphemism of referring to the toilet as “John.” While Sir Harrington’s model was the first flushing unit, the earliest toilets can be traced as far back as 3,000 B.C. in Scotland. Sir Harrington’s flushing toilet was much different from the kind we typically find in our own restrooms and flushing toilet rentals. Thomas Crapper, a prominent London plumber who has been credited with several bathroom-related inventions, invented the siphon flush system we use today back in the 1880s.

Even with a pre-existing history of nearly 80 years, a flushing toilet didn’t make its way onto the American big silver screen until Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic Psycho was released on June 16, 1960. The scene, in which star Janet Leigh can be seen flushing scraps of paper down a toilet drain, was just one cause of controversy surrounding the film’s release.

Continuing the horror-related theme, the New York Times reports that the bathroom as one of the most common places to suffer an injury, even death in the most extreme cases. In fact, there have been numerous celebrity deaths to take place on the John. While Elvis Presley is easily the most popular of these famous bathroom bereavements, even royalty isn’t resistant as both Catherine the Great and King George II laid their final rests in the restroom.

It’s Cleaner than You Might Think

If you were to ask the average American about the dirty place in their home, it’s highly likely that the toilet and bathroom will be amongst the most popular responses. However, your toilet may be a lot cleaner than you think.

According to Mythbusters, the toilet seat is one of the cleanest places in your entire home. In fact, your computer keyboard likely carries 200 times the amount of bacteria than what is currently on your toilet seat, while your office desk can have up to 400 times more bacteria. Even your mobile phone isn’t immune, as the average cell phone has 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle.

As we pointed out in our latest slideshow, proper hand sanitation remains a highly important to-do after any bathroom use, public or private. Toilet handles in a public restroom or portable toilet rental can carry up to 40,000 germs per square inch, making good hygiene essential to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. If you’re looking for a cleaner public sanitation solution when using a toilet trailer or public restroom, choosing the first toilet in the row can help you keep clean. More often than not, the first toilet is the least used of the bunch, and therefore the cleanest in the entire restroom.

Sanitation Statistics

The average person will spend three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet, a number that increases for many as they add more features and apps to their mobile phone. Speaking of mobile phones, the U.N. reports that currently there are 6 billion people with mobile phones across the globe, but only 4.5 billion have toilets in their home. Worldwide, there are a total of 2.6 billion people that do not have access to proper toilet facilities and sanitation.

When it comes to water usage and their toilets, Americans are literally flushing their money down the drain at a rate of 5 cents per day. In an average year, Americans spent over $5 million a year by simply flushing their toilets. Coming in at just over 2.3 million flushes, halftime of the Super Bowl is consistently the most popular time to flush throughout the year.

At Mr. John, we are proud to serve Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and West Virginia as the leading experts for your temporary toilet solutions. When you need your event to go off without a hitch, be sure to reach out to Mr. John for all of your portable toilet service needs. From luxury portable restrooms to bathroom trailer rentals, Mr. John has your sanitation needs covered with portable bathrooms for weddings, festivals, fairs and much more. For help planning the temporary toilet solutions for your big event, contact the professionals at Mr. John today!

Fascinating Facts about the Flushable Toilet