Thomas William Twyford (1849–1921) was a pottery manufacturer in England. He invented the single piece, ceramic flush toilet. At the time of Twyford's death he was recognised as a leading pioneer in the application of principles of hygiene to sanitary appliances.
Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." In archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious.
A ceramic is a solid material comprising an inorganic compound of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick.
A flush toilet is a toilet that disposes of human excreta by using water to flush it through a drainpipe to another location for disposal, thus maintaining a separation between humans and their excreta. Flush toilets can be designed for sitting or for squatting, in the case of squat toilets. The opposite of a flush toilet is a dry toilet, which uses no water for flushing.
Thomas William Twyford was born the eldest son to Thomas Twyford and Sarah Jones of Hanover Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Twyford's father established two different located earthenware factories: the Bath Street works in Hanley, and the Abbey works in Bucknall.He was able to build a substantial trade-base in both the mainland of Europe and the United States.
Hanley, in Staffordshire, England, is a constituent town of Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1857 and became a county borough with the passage of the Local Government Act 1888. In 1910, along with Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton, Longton and Stoke-upon-Trent it was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley was the only one of the six towns to be a county borough before the merger; its status was transferred to the enlarged borough. In 1925, following the granting of city status, it became one of the six towns that constitute the City of Stoke-on-Trent.
Stoke-on-Trent is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). Together with the neighbouring boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands, it is part of North Staffordshire. In 2016, the city had a population of 261,302.
Bucknall is a suburb of Stoke-on-Trent in the county of Staffordshire.
In September 1872, Twyford's father died, leaving him the family business. However, the company was under management and control by trustees for a short period before he was able to take over.
In March 1879, Twyford released his first sanitaryware catalogue. The 1870s proved to be a defining period for the sanitary industry and the water closet; the debate between the simple water closet trap basin made entirely of earthenware and the very elaborate, complicated and expensive mechanical water closet would fall under public scrutiny and expert opinion.In 1875, the "wash-out" trap water closet was first sold and was found as the public's preference for basin type water closets. By 1879, Twyford had devised his own type of the "wash out" trap water closet; he titled it the "National". The National met all of the requirements of the quintessential wash-out trap water closets, most defining, the shallow basin water reserve that would be forced through the water-sealed trap when flushed. The National came out as the market place's most popular wash-out water closet.
In 1881, Twyford's National had won an honorary award at sanitary exhibitions at Kensington and Brighton. In 1882, with the success granted by the National, Twyford released a second wash-out closet entitled "The Crown", and in 1883, he designed and released his third wash-out closet named "The Alliance". All three models were not free-standing and required the support of a wooden seat within a substratum wooden enclosure to hold the contraptions.
Kensington is an affluent district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the West End of central London.
Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England that is part of the City of Brighton and Hove, located 47 miles (76 km) south of London.
By the 1880s, the free-standing water closet was released to the marketplace and quickly gained popularity because it was more easily cleaned and thus more hygienic. It was not long before Twyford adopted the new innovation. In 1884 he released his first free-standing water closet made with earthenware, named the "Unitas". The first Unitas possessed an open trap but Twyford was eager to remedy this. He commissioned his best potters to produce a free-standing water closet that had a lid to the trap and was made completely of earthenware. However, even though Twyford was quick to jump on the most innovative developments in the sanitary industry – and often can be credited with being the pioneer in some of these developments – he was in fact not the first person to release a one-piece pedestal water closet. It is most probable that a London firm with George Jennings is attributed for releasing the first successful one-piece pedestal water closet. However, Twyford's Unitas was greatly celebrated during the 1880s as one of the best one-piece pedestal water closets, especially because it was made of entirely one piece of earthenware and Twyford made certain that there were "pleasant to the eye" designs painted on the exterior and in the interior of the more expensive models.
In 1886, Twyford released a second stylist version of the Unitas called the "Florentine", which was put in the catalogue later that year. In 1884, Twyford applied for the first patent for a ceramic baffle or "fan" that would aid the process of distributing the water around the basin; it was placed near the flush inlet. In 1886 and 1887, Twyford submitted further patents for improvements to the flushing rim and the outlet. In 1888, he applied for a patent protection for his "after flush" chamber; the device allowed for the basin to be refilled by a lower quantity of clean water in reserve after the water closet was flushed.
In 1887, Twyford exhibited in a catalogue the after flushing reservoir chamber in a previous basin trap water closet. He included it in his 1879 catalogue, calling the device the "Lillyman"; however, regardless of its finer ingenuity compared to other products in the market, it did not match the success of its counterpart the National. It is possible that the Lillyman did not find success purely because of its poor placement in Twyford's catalogue, being in the back and sharing its page with the lower and cheaper models of trap water closets intended for the use of clients who were either poor or servants.
In the later 1880s, Twyford made further improvements to the sanitary industry and lengthened his reach beyond water closets. He produced and released a pedestal hand-basin made completely of earthenware that had "improved holes for the taps"; he eventually even attached overflow chambers and an outer-layer of material that was more pleasing to see to cover the iron brackets that supported the basin. Twyford even developed a bidet that was made completely of earthenware and had both a hot and cold tap.
In 1887 he built a new factory at Cliffe Vale in Stoke-on-Trent, near the Trent and Mersey Canal and the North Staffordshire Railway.
From the mid-1870s to the turn of the century, Twyford's sanitary products business increased five-fold. He established showrooms for water closets in Berlin, Germany; Sydney; and Cape Town, South Africa. He made certain that the reach of his trade expanded from Russia to South America. In 1903, to fend off the high demands of his German competitors, Twyford had established a new fireclay works in Ratingen, a town near Düsseldorf.
In 1911, Twyford continued to expand his fireclay works: the first fireclay works was erected opposite the Cliffe Vale works. In 1912, Twyford built another local fireclay works on Garner Street in Etruria. In 1896, Twyford's firm became a private limited company, with Twyford initially serving as its chairman.
From 1898, Twyford lived in Whitmore Hall in Newcastle under Lyme and increased his public prominence, serving as High Sheriff of Staffordshire for 1906–07. As a political activist, he supported the Liberal Unionists and later founded the Unionist paper the Staffordshire Post, which would later combine with The Staffordshire Sentinel . Twyford eventually became Chairman of the paper. In 1907, he contested and lost the North West Staffordshire by-election as the Conservative Party's candidate.
On 21 March 1921, Twyford died at the Chine Hotel in Boscombe in the suburb of Bournemouth and was buried in Whitmore churchyard.On 20 June 1872, he had married Susannah Whittingham, the daughter of Edward Whittingham, a local farmer. Twyford and Susannah had one son and one daughter.
Thomas Crapper was an English plumber and who founded Thomas Crapper & Co in London, a sanitary equipment company. Crapper held nine patents, three of them for water closet improvements such as the floating ballcock. He improved the S-bend trap in 1880 inventing the plumbing trap (U-bend). The firm's lavatorial equipment was manufactured at premises in nearby Marlborough Road. The company owned the world's first bath, toilet and sink showroom, in King's Road. Crapper was noted for the quality of his products and received several royal warrants.
Alexander Cumming FRSE was a Scottish watchmaker and instrument inventor, who was the first to patent a design of the flush toilet, which had been pioneered by Sir John Harrington, but without solving the problem of foul smells. The S-trap was invented by Cumming in 1775 to retain water permanently within the bowl, thus preventing sewer gases from entering buildings. It survives in today's plumbing modified as a U- or J-shaped pipe trap located below or within a plumbing fixture.
A plumbing fixture is an exchangeable device which can be connected to a plumbing system to deliver and drain water.
Josiah Spode was an English potter and the founder of the English Spode pottery works which became famous for the quality of its wares. He is often credited with the establishment of blue underglaze transfer printing in Staffordshire in 1781–84, and with the definition and introduction in c. 1789–91 of the improved formula for bone china which thereafter remained the standard for all English wares of this kind.
Spode is an English brand of pottery and homewares produced by the company of the same name, which is based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Spode was founded by Josiah Spode (1733–1797) in 1770, and was responsible for perfecting two extremely important techniques that were crucial to the worldwide success of the English pottery industry in the century to follow.
The Staffordshire Potteries is the industrial area encompassing the six towns, Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton that now make up the city of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. North Staffordshire became a centre of ceramic production in the early 17th century, due to the local availability of clay, salt, lead and coal.
Arthur Berry was an English playwright, poet, teacher and artist, who was born in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent. His individual creative work became deeply rooted in the culture, people and landscape of the industrial pottery town of Burslem.
Creamware is a cream-coloured, refined earthenware with a lead glaze over a pale body, known in France as faïence fine, in Germany as Engels porselein and Italy as terraglia inglese. It was created about 1750 by the potters of Staffordshire, England, who refined the materials and techniques of salt-glazed earthenware towards a finer, thinner, whiter body with a brilliant glassy lead glaze, which proved so ideal for domestic ware that it supplanted white salt-glaze wares by about 1780. It was popular until the 1840s.
Stoke-on-Trent railway station is a mainline railway station serving the city of Stoke-on-Trent and the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It lies on the Stafford to Manchester branch of the West Coast Main Line. The station also provides an interchange between various local services running through Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
Mintons was a major company in Staffordshire pottery, "Europe's leading ceramic factory during the Victorian era", an independent business from 1793 to 1968. It was a leader in ceramic design, working in a number of different ceramic bodies, decorative techniques, and "a glorious pot-pourri of styles - Rococo shapes with Oriental motifs, Classical shapes with Medieval designs and Art Nouveau borders were among the many wonderful concoctions". As well as pottery vessels and sculptures, the firm was a leading manufacturer of tiles and other architectural ceramics, producing work for both the Houses of Parliament and United States Capitol.
Twyford Bathrooms is a manufacturer of bathroom fixtures based in Alsager, Cheshire, England.
Cliffe Vale is a district of the city of Stoke-on-Trent, and lies to the immediate south of Etruria and just west of Basford and Hartshill. Cliffe Vale is in the valley of the Fowlea Brook, now better known as Etruria Valley. There are industrial and employment uses along the A500, and new residential developments along the Trent and Mersey Canal. The Shelton New Road (A53) passes through from east to west. The area is sometimes called Cliff Vale by the city council, and is part of the Hartshill electoral ward.
George Jennings was an English sanitary engineer and plumber who invented the first public flush toilets.
Thomas Toft was an English potter working in the Staffordshire Potteries during the 17th century. He and his family are known for large earthenware plates heavily decorated by slip-trailing, often in several colours.
Thomas Maddock was an inventor and potter. He invented devices that made plumbing fixtures more practical and started the American indoor toilet industry. Maddock was decorator for a set of White House tableware dishes for President Franklin Pierce.
Fowlea Brook flows through Staffordshire and the outlying areas of Stoke-on-Trent, England. It is a tributary stream of the River Trent, and is 6 miles (9.7 km) long.
Joshua Twyford was a manufacturer of pottery in the Staffordshire Potteries, England.
The Frog Service or Green Frog Service is a large dinner and dessert service made by the English pottery company Wedgwood for Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and completed in 1774. The service had fifty settings, and 944 pieces were ordered, 680 for the dinner service and 264 for the dessert. At Catherine's request the hand-painted decoration showed British scenes, copied from prints, with a total of 1,222 views. In addition each piece had a green frog within a shield, a reference to the name of the palace it was intended for.