John Harrington invented the toilet in order to dispose of excrement that was, at that time, poisoning the state, according to Today I Found Out. The toilet he invented worked by pulling a cord that allowed water to rush from the water closet to flush away the waste.
History Today states that Harrington installed one of the toilets he invented at his country home in Kelston, England. The device emptied itself and contained a pan with a seat. Water was pumped into a tank above, and every time the seat was turned, water would sweep the contents of the pan into a cesspool located underneath. Even though he was not the first person to invent a toilet, his unique invention was an innovation in Britain, and it was widely believed that he is the one who invented the flushing toilet, according to Today I Found Out. This explains why the modern flushing toilet is sometimes referred to as a john. History Today also states that John Harrington went ahead and installed one of his toilets for Queen Elizabeth I at her Richmond Palace. The queen was not impressed by the gesture because as a wealthy person, she had servants to carry waste out of her residence.