'Electric Bell Pushes', c 1902.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
An engraving from the catalogue of Thomas Crapper and Company showing nine different types of bell push. Bell pushes were in common use after the introduction of electricity, not only to announce the presence of visitors but also to summon servants. Thomas Crapper (1837-1910) started a plumbing busines in Chelsea, London in 1861, and pioneered some of the most revolutionary designs of sanitary engineering in the 19th century, particularly in developing the modern WC cistern.