|Died||8 March 1814 (aged 82)
|Known for||Design of the flush toilet|
Alexander Cumming (often referred to as Cummings, 1731/2 – 8 March 1814) was a Scottish watchmaker who was the first to patent a design of the flush toilet. This S-shaped plumbing design, survives in today's plumbing modified as a U- or J-shaped pipe trap located below or within a plumbing fixture. The S-shaped trap (or bend) was invented by Alexander Cumming in 1775 to prevent sewer gases from entering buildings. His premises were in Bond Street, London.
Born in Edinburgh in 1733, Cumming was a mathematician and mechanic as well as a watchmaker. He wrote books about watch and clock work, about the effect on roads of carriage wheels with rims of various shapes, and on the influence of gravity. He became a magistrate in 1779 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783.
- The Development of the Flushing Toilet – Detailed Chronology 1596 onwards, Twyfords Bathrooms, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
- Cumming, Alexander (1731/2-1814). Royal Society
- Gloria Clifton (2004), "Cumming, Alexander (1731/2–1814)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press
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