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- > Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in Delhi is a museum run by the Sulabh International, which is dedicated to the global history of sanitation and toilets. The museum has a rare collection of facts, pictures and objects detailing the historic evolution of toilets from 2500 BC to date. It provides a chronological account of developments relating to technology, toilet related social customs, toilet etiquettes, prevailing sanitary conditions and legislative efforts of the times. It has an extensive display of privies, chamber-pots, toilet furniture, bidets and water closets in use from 1145 AD to the modern times. It also has a rare collection of beautiful poems related to toilet and its usage; some of which have been reproduced in this booklet.
The pictures displayed at the Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets make one aware of how the world looked like when societies did not have the benefit of water closets (W.C.) and the changes that have been brought about by its invention. Ornately carved and painted urinals and commodes attract attention and are a source of amusement to many. The pictures of medieval commodes are noteworthy. There is also a picture of a medieval mobile commode in the shape of a treasure chest, which the English used while camping out on hunt. One could imagine the shock registered by some unsuspecting highway robbers, if they made away with such “treasure chests”, thinking it to be containing something absolutely unprecedented inside.
Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets also displays how the Roman emperors used to have toilet pots made of gold and silver. The Museum has a rare record of the flush pot devised in 1596 by Sir John Harrington, a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I. The Museum displays sewerage system at Mohenjo-Daro of Harappan civilization and maintains a detailed record of how modern toilet pans have emerged over a period of time.
The Museum has a stock of interesting anecdotes associated with the development of toilets. Tracing the history of toilets from Indus Valley Civilisation in Lothal, 62 km from the city of Ahmedabad, India where a highly developed drainage system existed, the Museum documents facts relating to some countries in Europe where most of the early technological developments in the evolution of toilets and drainage took place. The national flags of different countries, from where the pictures of toilets have been collected are also displayed.