Harington, Sir John

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b. 1561 Kelston (?), Somerset, England
d. 20 November 1612 Kelston, Somerset, England
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English inventor of the valve-operated. water-closet.
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Harington was a writer and poet and was a godson of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1596 he published a satire entitled A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject called the Metamorphosis of Ajax, which described the water-closet that he constructed for his home in Kelston, near Bath. Ajax was a whimsical reference to "jakes", a euphemism for privy or closet. The use of the water-closet, he declared, "would make unsavoury Places sweet, noisome Places wholesome and filthy Places cleanly". The water-closet was illustrated in his book and was, in effect, a water-fed and -controlled close-stool. Water was pumped up into a cistern, which fed a closet pan, and was retained there by the operation of a valve. The water action was controlled by a handle set into the seat of the pan, thus causing the sewage to be discharged into a cesspool beneath. However, because of the lack of adequate water supplies and sewage systems, Harington's invention was not generally taken up until 1775, when Alexander Cumming patented it.
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Further Reading
Lucinda Lambton, 1978, Temples of Convenience : Gordon Fraser.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • HARINGTON, Sir John — (1560 1612) Godson of Queen Elizabeth I,* John Harington was granted opportunities both at court and on the battlefields of Ireland. However, his literary efforts brought him his greatest success as a poet, translator, and chronicler of his age.… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Harington, Sir John — ▪ English author born 1561 died Nov. 20, 1612, Kelston, Somerset, Eng.       English Elizabethan courtier, translator, author, and wit who also invented the flush toilet.       Harington s father enriched the family by marrying an illegitimate… …   Universalium

  • Harington, Sir John — (1561 1612)    Harrington was Queen Elizabeth s godson. Educated at Eton College, King s College, Cambridge (graduating M.A. in 1581), and Lincoln s Inn, London, he was knighted in 1599 for leading a military expedition to Ireland. The queen… …   British and Irish poets

  • HARINGTON, SIR JOHN —    courtier and miscellaneous writer, translated by desire of Queen Elizabeth Ariosto s Orlando Furioso (1561 1612) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Harington, Sir John — (1561 1612)    Miscellaneous writer, and translator, b. at Kelston Park near Bath, and ed. at Eton and Camb., became a courtier of Queen Elizabeth, whose godson he was. In 1599 he served in Ireland under Essex, by whom he was knighted on the… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Sir John Harington — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Harington — John Harington. Sir John Harington (auch Harrington; * 4. August 1561[1] in Kelston, Somerset, England; † 20. November 1612 ebenda) war ein englischer Dichter. Einige seiner Werke veröffent …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Harington (inventor) — Infobox Person name = Sir John Harington image size = caption = Sir John Harington, 2nd Baron Harington of Exton birth date = August 4, 1561 birth place = Kelston, Somerset, England death date = November 20, 1612 death place = education =… …   Wikipedia

  • John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton — For the nobleman with the same name, see John Harington Sir John Harington (1539 – 1613) was the first Baron Harington of Exton, Rutland.He was the son of James Harington and was knighted in 1584, Inner Temple 1558, MP for Rutland 1571,… …   Wikipedia

  • Harington — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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