Friday, 11 November 2011

A Toilet Mystery

The Tornado toilet looks so exciting, but what the dickens does the stamp say on the porcelain?
  It is one of those spooky November nights, when one desires nothing more than to settle down with a glass or five of one's favourite drink and snuggle up to a good whodunnit. We sincerely hope that you, our readers, are comfortably ensconced in the sofa right now, with no intention of getting up in the near future. We ourselves are going to expose ourselves to all sorts of bad humours and cold, unpleasant night air, in order to photograph some toilets for your benefit. However, be that as it may.
   We don't pretend to any literary panache and couldn't dish up an Agatha Christie-style mystery for you if we tried. (Correction: Yes, we can! Not to blow our own trumpet with undue enthusiasm, but do check out our very own Poirot Mystery!) However, we are currenlty twirling our metaphorical waxed moustaches and purring with delight at being able to present to you a solution to a little problem that has been bothering us.
In a recent update, we were distraught not to be able to decipher the porcelain stamp on a toilet at Grays Court, despite Intellectual Friend's 57th-generation space phone. However, despair no more - modern technology has sorted it for us! We cunningly enlarged the photo until the stamp was visible. Voilà:

Modern technololgy has not yet made it possible to turn the picture the right way round.
 Our keen eyes make out the name Doulton! Doulton, we learn, nowadays make little china figurines, but once upon a time they made toilets! Let's see what the Doulton website says:

  Royal Doulton is a classic English brand name in tableware and ceramics with a pedigree dating back to 1815, when John Doulton used his life's savings to launch a partnership with Martha Jones and John Watts at a stoneware factory in Lambeth, London. Today, Royal Doulton is a world-class brand in quintessential British tableware, collectable figurines, crystal, glass and giftware.
  Yet it had truly down to earth origins. Thanks to stoneware, the business that subsequently focused on the Doulton family name took full advantage of the revolution in sanitation during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837- 1901). It established the world's first stoneware pipe factory and went on to become Britain's top Victorian manufacturer of sanitary ware [that means toilets]. (

Exciting, eh? We're still none the wiser as to why the wrought-iron sides of the seat say "Tornado", as the Tornado was a Crapper-brand toilet, but maybe one of the components was once changed. We are feeling benevolent today, and so give you the chance to feast your eye on this splendid toilet once more:

It's a beaut, n'est-ce pas?
  Alors, one rather fancies a sirop, eh, Hastings?

Related Reading
Gleeful Antics at Grays Court
Right Up Our Alley

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12 May, 2014

    MD of Thomas Crapper & Co says: "TC, like almost all (if not all) manufacturers, sold some goods made by other firms. For instance you will find chinaware by Twyfords and Sharpes in our old catalogues. So the Tornado could be a TC product being sold by Doulton, a Doulton product being sold by TC, or a product of a third firm being sold by TC, Doulton and perhaps many more!"


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