Valve closet, 1778.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustration of Joseph Bramah's water closet of 1778. English inventor Joseph Bramah (1749-1814), created numerous inventions, including a beer machine used at the bar of public houses, a safety lock which he manufactured in partnership with Henry Maudslay (1771-1831), and an ingenious machine for printing bank notes. He also invented a hydraulic pres for shaping pieces of iron and steel, considered one of the great instruments of the industrial revolution.