The toilet is a basic need available in many households. Over the years, toilets have evolved depending on the revolution era as well as location and the living standards of the people. The current toilets are only possible to be in a homestead with sufficient supply of water and septic tanks or sewers system otherwise the old pit latrines are ideal.

The history of toilets dates back in three eras, the ancient era, middle age era and the modern era. All these had distinct toilet features determined by the financial status and their living standards.

 The ancient era

Toilets can be inside or outside the houses. Ancient farmers built pit latrines inside their house to avoid human-animal conflict from the jungle. Egyptians hold a history of toilet differences between the rich and slaves. The rich had well-constructed toilets with amenities while slaves used the wooden stool, with a container for collecting the wastes. It had to be emptied at intervals.

Flush toilets were first developed during civilization in the Indus valley, they dug the sewer system to direct all the waste one flushed.

Romans were not left out either in the history of toilets. They were the first to construct public toilets. Funny enough, they had a god of the sewer- a clear indication of the value of the toilets. They also had hierarchies in financial status. The public toilets were poorly built, with no partitions compromising privacy. Hygiene after using the toilets was also wanting. These made the project to fail since the poor still found the streets more private than the public toilets. Despite these, the wealthy Romans had better flush toilets.


The middle age era

The middle age dates back in the 12th century. Pit latrines were the major type of pits with wooden seats or stones. They were built along rivers, seas and water bodies, which acted as the sewer system as the river flows. The middle times of the era, they constructed garderobe- a toilet with a vertical tunnel and a seat made of stone, directed to a trench for emptying.

The rich used rags as tissues paper to wipe their buttocks while the poor had a specific type of plant with a woolen texture to wipe their bottoms.


Modern era

This era started in the beginning of the 16th century where Sir John Harrington established the first flush toilet cistern as modern toilet design. Although the idea did not pick up it was later used by the wealthy through the 18th century. In the 19th century, the flush toilets were common among the wealthy while the pit latrines still dominated the rural areas. These are some example of the modern era of toilet:,

Flush toilets


  • Hygienic
  • Classic and portrays a sense of class.


  • They require constant water supply
  • They are expensive to construct
  • They need a sewer system for disposal

Pit latrines


  • They are hygienic
  • Can be used in any location
  • Materials for construction are readily available
  • Cheap to construct

Currently, the two types of toilets are widely used within the households. Some homes have one while others have both.