The ENGINE OF CAPITALISM - GREED Backing Up To Run Over Freedom Again.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I am told the difference between basic pottery (first developed about 20,000 years ago) and porcelain pottery (first created about 1,000 years ago) is silicate Kaolinit clay in the slurry and an additional 500 degrees Fahrenheit in the firing process. The cost of achieving that temperature is worth the effort because porcelain is impermeable to water throughout its structure and thus, with glass, the only truly hygienic human made material. That meant porcelain was ideal for making “chamber pots”, resistant to staining and easily cleaned. Every potter in England who could, made chamber pots. And the top of the blue blood bottom market was claimed by Wedgwood, chamber pot makers for royal butts since King George III. But there were dozens of porcelain potters in England, clawing and scratching for chamber pot market share, like the Twyford family - “Fathers of the British Bathrooms”

In days of Old, When knights were bold, And, toilets weren't invented. They laid their loads,
Beside the road, And, walked away contented”
Twyford's had been making pottery in Stroke-on-Trent since 1680. But when London outlawed cesspits in 1849, Thomas Twyford senior moved to London and began aggressively selling water closets for London's growing middle class. The Twyford advantage was a siphon design which came to dominate the export market. But he over expanded and by the time Thomas Twyford junior got control of the company in 1879, it was almost bankrupt. Thomas had to do something big. He did it in 1884, when he released his “Unitus”, billed as a “trap-less toilet.”
In Cologne, a town of monks and bones, And pavements fang'd with murderous stones
And rags, and hags, and hideous wenches; I counted two and seventy stenches, All well defined, and several stinks! Ye Nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks, The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne; But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine, Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?”
Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1834
It wasn't actually trap-less of course – the trap was still there just concealed inside the porcelain. But the “Unitius” was the arrival of the modern can, the everyman and every woman's throne, the feces and forget privy, the dump and deny water closet, the my-poop-don't-stink lavatory, the head, the John, the loo, the shit can, and most recently and famously, the Crapper.
I come here to sit and think, I usually don't mind the stink, But when it gets bad, I am really glad,
That quick out of here I can slink.”
The etymological of crap begins with the Latin “crappa” meaning the chaff, or the unusable portion of wheat. In old Dutch this became “krappe”, an inedible fish or other food. And that was the origin of the family name of Thomas Crapper. The word didn't come to mean what it means today until Thomas began to express his business philosophy of slapping his name on everything that came out of his factory, from product to employee's inventions.
Draw out yere sword, thou vile South'ron! Red wat wi' blude o' my kin! That sword it crapped the bonniest flower, E'er lifted its head to the sun!
Poet Allan Cunningham 1847
At 14 years of age Thomas Crapper was apprenticed to his brother George, who was already a master plumber in the wealthy London suburb of Chelsea. By the time he was 25 the proud Thomas had been awarded nine patents for plumbing innovations. He was no longer a mere plumber. He now billed himself as a “Sanitary Engineer”.
The flush toilet, more than any single invention, has 'civilized' us in a way that religion and law could never accomplish.”
Poet Thomas Lynch - 1997
One of Thomas' nine patents was for a fully automated water closet. The pressure of the user compressed a pair of springs under the seat. When the client arose from their effort the springs lifted the seat and via rods released flush water from the reservoir tank above. Unfortunately it became known as the “Bottom Slapper”. The heavier the user the faster the springs rebounded, in a Catholic punishment for all who soiled the system Clients found them selves unable to relax during their commodious visits for contemplation of the test that was to come the instant the pressure was off.. Needless to say the auto toilet had few repeat customers..And in fact, only two of Thomas' the nine patents proved of any lasting value.
Men who consistently leave the toilet seat up secretly want women to get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night and fall in.”
Comic Rita Rudner
In 1866, at 30, and filled with a self confidence that would never leave him, Thomas Crapper opened his own plumbing business in Chelsea (above), complete with an on the premises brass foundry. He began every business day by joining his brother George for a champagne breakfast at a pub convenient to both their shops. And this practice might explain his decision to install windows in the front of his factory on Marlborough Road (above, left & right of door) to display his product, as if his “flush down” toilets were shoes or ladies frocks. There were reports that Victorian matrons occasionally grew faint at the impropriety of all those lavatories, the function that dare not speak its name, stacked up in full public view. But it must have increased worker moral. It clearly increased Thomas'. And it also increased sales.
What is toilet training if not the first attempt to turn a child into an acceptable member of society?”
Author Rose George 2004
A big part of Thomas' business was the installation of public lavatories. And on each shinny porcelain Crapper urinal was painted a buzzing bee. It was an inside joke among the public school boys standing to relieve themselves, which they had learned from their Latin instructions In Latin a bee is called an “apis”.  A piss. Very funny.
If you do the toilet scenes well and commit to them, they can be really, really powerful.”
Actress Sandra Bullock
By the 1880's Thomas broke the Wedgwood monopoly on royal crap, establishing a personal connection with the long suffering Prince of Wales, forced to put up with his mother's crap until Queen Victoria finally died in January of 1901. After that the aging Prince became King Edward VII, and Thomas Crapper became “Sanitary Engineer” to the royal bottom. Thomas retired in 1904, turning the business over to his nephew George Crapper (lower right) and his old business partner Robert Wharam (lower left). And in late January 1910, Thomas Crapper (below) , the man with the self confidence to market crap, and do so successfully, passed quietly into that great cistern in the sky.  The company survived, sans any actual Crappers, until it was swallowed by a competitor in 1963.
Crap has always happened, crap is happening, and crap will continue to happen.”
Author Chuck Palahniuk
But with human populations expanding, it was increasingly difficult to avoid all that crap humans had flushed away.
The average human being spends three years of life going to the toilet, though the average human being with no physical toilet to go to probably does his or her best to spend less.”
Author Rose George  - 2004
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