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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Thomas Crapper was here
The original toilet flushing legend worked here.
Location: 120 King's Road, Chelsea
Description: Yorkshire's finest flushing toilet entrepreneur had been in Chelsea a while, since becoming an apprentice plumber here aged 14 in 1850. He set up in his own right 11 years later.
He was certainly an inventive chap, patently all sorts of practical improvements and some not so practical.
He certainly invented the bathroom showroom, displaying his wares in huge glass windows here. This did cause quite a stir with some ladies observing the porcelain in the windows and became faint at this shocking sight in polite society!
The company Thomas Crapper & Co. prospered with royal warrants and such, and some of their original manhole covers can still be seen in Westminster Abbey!
Thomas handed his business over to his partner Robert M. Wharam and his nephew George Crapper. They opened their flagship showroom here in 1907, three years before Thomas Crapper's death.
It was the pinnacle of a successful company, a flagship store in an upmarket society street near Sloane Square.
How was it possible they the company disappeared so much that people thought the name was made up!