Thomas Crapper Day, Royal Flush

By Christopher Wong, Chief Editor

January 27th is Thomas Crapper Day. Although Thomas Crapper is thought to have invented the flush toilet, in reality he had a minor impact in implementing water closets. However, his coincidental name and successful plumbing career was enough to give him an unofficial holiday.

Thomas Crapper

According to, Thomas Crapper was born in Yorkshire, England in 1836. When he turned 14, he took up an apprenticeship under a master plumber in Chelsea. He took to inventing and created improvements to the flush toilet system. His patent allowed for toilets to be flushed when the cistern, the tank holding water at the back of the toilet, is only half full.  Thomas Crapper was so successful he was commissioned to supply Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace with Crapper plumbing services and equipment.

It is easy to believe that the slang term for feces “crap” came from Mr. Crapper’s name. However, this is not the case. The word “crap” is originally from medieval Latin “crappa” or “crapinum” (literally “chaff” or “trash”), Old French, “crappe” (meaning “siftings”), and Dutch, “krappen” (meaning “to cut off”).

Thank you, Thomas Crapper for plunging into the world of toilet flush systems and giving everyone the ability to flush. Please flush the toilets so as not to dishonor Mr. Crapper.



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