From BBC History Extra....In 1866, Yorkshire-born industrialist and plumber Thomas Crapper opened the world’s first bathroom showroom in Chelsea. For the first time, people could actually see sanitary products in place. Some were even plumbed in so that potential customers could try before they bought. In the late 1880s, Crapper was asked by the Prince of Wales to install lavatories at Sandringham, and he went on to supply sanitary ware for both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
The world’s first toilet showroom, opened by Thomas Crapper, offered customers a unique buying experience. (Photo by Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)
The idea that one of our more robust terms for a bowel movement is derived from his name is a myth – that word was in use well before Crapper became famous. However, it is possible that the American word ‘crapper’, meaning a lavatory, became popular after US soldiers in Britain in 1917 saw his name stamped on the cisterns in some public toilets.