Friday, June 8, 2012

What's in a Name?

This is a post from Miss Moggs who had trouble with the format / publishing of this post and asked me to "fix" it and publish it.  I have to say some things are easier with the "new" Blogger but many are a mystery to me.  eg.  I cannot get text to appear besides the photo above.   Grumble, grump!  JMB

What’s in a name? This post came from something I said in a comment. I googled to see if I could back up something I was convinced must be true about hygiene and bathrooms. 

Thomas Crapper. Unsung hero. His Father was a sailor. He was born in Yorkshire, England about a year before princess Victoria became queen. He grew up to become a very successful London Plumber and Victorian business man. Water closets had been around for ages , or at least some of the ideas, and simpler versions. 

Thomas Crapper didn’t invent it but improved, promoted and popularised it. Made it practical and fashionable and popular. He was an entreprenure. He made some of the very best flush water closets in the land, the world even, so good he was awarded royal warrants “by appointment”. He sensibly patented his improved Water closets making good money while he did it as sales took off. After all what was good enough for the Prince of Wales... Thomas Crapper & Co had the world's very first bath, toilet and sink showroom, in the famous King's Road, Chelsea, in London. 

Thomas Crapper
In promoting his own interest so well and promoting good hygiene he probably did as much good and saved as many lives as ever Florence Nightingale, or Alexander Fleming did. It seems a poor reward that his good name is now the “butt” of jokes and .. well I am sure you see what I am thinking. Weirdly it may be that he did not for sure give his name to what gets flushed round the bend, and talked sometimes. There is some suggestion it might be from Dutch or related Middle English originally. I expect the word was there but did it mean “you know what”. The first time the Oxford Dictionary lists it is 1846 talking about a privey. Whatever. 

To me Thomas Crapper is one of the great benefactors of mankind and should get some credit for it. He should be looked up to like his fellow Britons James Dyson or Richard Branson. A hero even. So here is to Thom Crapper. Yaaay!! What started this whole post? I argued it is more hygienic to close the lid before flushing. Instead of leaving the seat up. I found this to say I was right.


That gentleman's lady said...

I don't think I will ever forget that name.

Atleast his parents were kind to him.

The worst name I ever heard was Tara Highman. Poor girl. Her parents must have hated her.

James Higham said...

Tara Highman. She was my great, great grandmother before the family name was changed.

jmb said...

This man certainly deserves recognition for his contribution to civilization and I for one am very grateful.

Thanks for telling us about him.

Moggsy said...

TGL, You are right some parents just don't think it through when picking manes for their kids.

My bet Is Crapper was probably a perfectly ordinary unremarkable name until after Thomas became a household name.

Maybe he should have called the company Imperial Hygeneic Appliances in stead of Thomas Crapper & Co.

Then you would say I was just talking maybe eye-yaych ^_^