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A toilet seat is a hinged unit consisting of seat and lid which is bolted onto a toilet bowl for a flush toilet. A toilet seat consists of the seat itself, which may be contoured for the user to sit on, and the lid, which covers the toilet when it is not in use.
The seat is lifted when a man stands to urinate, or while cleaning the toilet.
They are manufactured in a range of different styles and colors and they may come matching the style of the toilet itself. They may be built to fit the shape of the toilet bowl; two examples of this being the elongated bowl and the regular bowl. Some toilet seats are fitted with slow-closing lids to reduce noise by preventing them from slamming against the bowl. The price of toilet seats varies quite considerably.
Some are made of various types of fancy wooden materials, like oak or walnut, and others are made soft for added comfort. At various times, printed seats, with multi-colored designs, such as floral or newsprint, have been fashionable.
Open front toilet seats 
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials' Uniform Plumbing Code, section 409.2.2, requires that "all water closet seats, except those within dwelling units or for private use, shall be of the open front type." There is an exception for toilets with an automatic toilet-seat cover dispenser. The code has no legal force, but because it is followed by many public authorities, many public toilets feature open front toilet seats.
The purpose for this seat design is to allow women to wipe the perineal area after using the toilet without contacting the seat. It also omits an area of the seat that could be contaminated with urine, and avoids contact between the seat and the user's genitals.
Modern design, electronic integration and function 
Water-heated seats (citation needed) were in use in royal homes in Britain in the twentieth century. The first elecrically-heated toilet seat was manufactured by Cyril Reginald Clayton at St Leonard's on Sea in Sussex. A UK patent was applied for on 5th January 1959, filing on 4th January 1960 and granted in August 1963 (UK patent no. 934209). The first model, the 'Deluxete', was made of fibreglass with a heating element in the lid, triggered by a mercury switch, that warmed the seat when the lid was down. Subsequent improvements were made and another UK patent applied for, this time for deodorising model with integral fan, on 20th May 1970, which was granted on 17th May 1972 (UK patent no. 1260402). At first marketed as the 'Deodar', this model was later sold as the 'Readywarm'. Among the early users of the 'Deluxete' was racing driver Stirling Moss. With the permission of Reginald Clayton, the electrically-heated seat was further developed by the Japanese firm Matsushita.
The toilet seat functions as a comic staple for sight gags relating to toilet humor. The most common is someone staggering out of a bathroom after an explosion with a toilet seat around his neck. In the television show Dead Like Me, George Lass, the main character, is killed when a zero-G toilet seat from space station Mir re-enters the atmosphere.
The P-3C Orion antisubmarine aircraft went into service in 1962. Twenty-five years later it was determined that the toilet shroud, the cover that fits over the toilet, needed replacement. Since the airplane was out of production this would require new tooling to produce. These on-board toilets required a uniquely shaped, molded fiberglass shroud that had to satisfy specifications for vibration resistance, weight, and durability. The molds had to be specially made, as it had been decades since their original production. The price reflected the design work and the cost of the equipment to manufacture them. Lockheed Corp. charged $34,560 for 54 toilet covers, or $640 each.
President Reagan held a televised news conference in 1987, where he held up one of these shrouds and stated: "We didn't buy any $600 toilet seat. We bought a $600 molded plastic cover for the entire toilet system." A Pentagon spokesman, Glenn Flood stated, "The original price we were charged was $640, not just for a toilet seat, but for the large molded plastic assembly covering the entire seat, tank and full toilet assembly. The seat itself cost $9 and some cents.… The supplier charged too much, and we had the amount corrected." The president of Lockheed at the time, Lawrence Kitchen, adjusted the price to $100 each and returned $29,165. "This action is intended to put to rest an artificial issue," Kitchen stated.
See also 
Further reading 
- Choi, Jay Pil (November 2002), "Up or Down? A Male Economist’s Manifesto on the Toilet Seat Etiquette", Economic Inquiry (online in advance of print), doi:10.1111/j.1465-7295.2009.00277.x
- Siddiqi, Hammad (12 October 2006), "The social norm of leaving the toilet seat down: A game theoretic analysis", Economics Bulletin 28 (13): A0
- Nadler, Amos (1 October 2010), "Considerate Economist on Proper Bathroom Etiquette", The Considerate Economist
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Toilet seats|
- An examination of the toilet seat up vs down scenario by Hammad Siddiqi
- Isotope Comics in San Francisco - home of the Comics Rockstar Toilet Seat Museum
- The Troublesome Toilet Seat: Up or Down? Three Schemes