At the beginning of the third millennium civilised households around the world had at least one water closet. This British invention dates from 1592, but the first patent was not registered until the late eighteenth century. Although pottery was made by the earliest civilisations, the sanitary pottery industry whas existed for only 150 years. Sanitary pottery has contributed directly towards improving health and helping to combat disease worldwide. For santiary and ablution purposes in early Victorian times wealthy huseholders used precious metal or pottery bedroom toilet sets. Efficient water closets, or WCs, from which waste is washed away to the sewers are now taken for granted, but in early Victorian homes this was far from the case. Water closet development mirrors the triumph of social hygiene over killer diseases in overcrowded cities.
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Munroe Blair acquired his knowledge of the history of sanitary pottery from inside the industry, working with Twyford, Armitage Shanks and English China Clays. He trained in architecture and design, but his professional qualifications are related to marketing, and he has a History of Art and Design BA and a Masters Degree in the history of Ceramics.
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