Ever heard about a museum, which is dedicated to something as basic as a toilet? No, then a visit to Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi is a must for you to get an idea what a museum dedicated to toilets would be like. As quirky as it may sound, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets is a painstaking attempt at explaining the history and the evolution of the toilet over the period of time in a completely professional manner.
The International Museum of Toilets was established by a non-governmental organisation, which offers sanitisation services and boasts of some rare collection of facts, pictures and objects that offer details about the historical evolution of toilets that dates from 2500 BC till present. The International Museum of Toilets offers a chronology of developments that are related to technology, social customs related to toilets, toilet etiquettes, and the sanitary conditions of the earlier era.
Although the museum has a widespread display of privies, chamber pots, toilet furniture, bidets and water closets that have been in use since 1145AD till the present times, the highlight of the museum is the replica of throne of Louis the XIII. It is believed that King Louis XIII and Louis the XIV used to have court sessions while using the toilet.
Among other priced possessions that the museum boasts of are ancient stoneware chamber pots from Britain; ornate painted medieval urinals; and even `disguised’ commodes- French one which looks like a stack of books, and an English one which resembles a treasure chest! More practical toilets include a microwave toilet, and an electric toilet that was designed in 1929, for use on chilly winter nights.
In addition, there is a first Water Closet that was invented by John Harrington, a court poet of Queen Elizabeth I, in 1596 A.D. which was meant for the usage of only the queen and the inventor. Then there is information on a toilet that was developed in Chicago, USA, which had a buttock stimulating mechanism to overcome the problem of constipation. This apart, the museum also has a rare collection of beautiful poems about toilets.
The International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi, offers a vastly interesting and educational- if wacky- look at toilets.
Interestingly King Louis the XIII, had a commode under his throne thus prompting a remark from one of his court jesters that it was a bit strange that while the king preferred privacy during his meals, he chose to ease himself publicly.
A Japanese toilet company known as Toto Toilets had built the Wellyoull –a toilet that mechanically measured the user’s urine-sugar level by collecting a urine sample in a spoon that was held by a retractable mechanical arm