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Toilet THE TOILET In 1833 the Carnot Institute in Paris presented an anonymous invention called the 'toilet bowl'. The design was similar to what we sit on nowadays and was made from metal with a wooden lid*. However it was not a success until 1886 when the English inventor Thomas Crapper installed a deposit of water above the toilet that permitted the contents of the bowl to be emptied automatically. The world finally had its 'water closet'.  
THE BIKINIBikini  For many years women's swimming costumes had experienced a gradual tendency to show more and more of the bather's* body until in 1946 the French designer Louis Read had the courage to cut the traditional design in two, His new, two piece, costume would revolutionise fashion but for the moment it had no name. Just before the official presentation, the United States started it first peace-time nuclear tests on the Pacific island of Bikini. Read grasped* the opportunity to capitalise on the international media coverage of the event to name his explosive invention the 'bikini'. 

This might seem incredible but on the Luxor obelix in Paris (taken from Egypt by the French) there is a hieroglyph that shows a person sitting on a horizontal bar which is connected to two wheels. This is probably a primitive version of what the French man Jean Theson 'invented' in 1645 - the bicycle. The difference between Theson's bike and the one represented on the Parisian obelix (and also an object seen in Babylonian art) is that the French inventor used the innovation of pedals in his design. He forgot about the brakes though.


The hamburger was born in the fourteenth century in Germany but minced* meat has been eaten in a similar way since at least Egyptian times. The mummy of a high level Egyptian was discovered at the start of the twentieth century with something that resembled ahamburger minced meat handwich lying next to it. The Tartars definitely ate hamburgers which they made from the meat that was left after using the best parts and which nowadays are called 'steak tartar'. The modern 'hamburger steak' (steak from Hamburg) didn't become popular until a famous nineteenth century doctor in England declared that minced meal was good for your digestion as the stomach didn't have to work so hard as with normal meat
One of the many explanations of the origin of this seemingly indispensable drink is the following; In approximately coffee850 B.C. in Ethiopia, a shepherd* called Kaldi was worried why his goats couldn't relax or sleep. While watching his animals one day he noticed that they ate the fruit of a small tree that was typical in the area- When a local holy man* who was having problems staying awake during his meditation and prayers heard the story he tried an infusion made from the plant and discovered its now legendary effects.
This is one of the stories of how 'tapas' were invented; Alfonso XIII was visiting Cadiz when one day, as he was returning to his palace, he stopped to have a glass of sherry in a bar on the beach. It was a windy day and the waiter noticed that sand was entering the bar and getting into the glasses. Very quickly he placed a slice of ham on top of the King's glass to stop the sand spoiling* the monarch's drink. When the King saw his glass he asked what had happened. "I have put a cover (tapa) on your glass so that the sand can 'I gel in, " replied the waiter. The King ate the ham drank his sherry and ordered another drink with "the same cover (tapa)." Naturally all those people with him did the same and so began a Spanish tradition.

It's impossible to say who was the first person to wear a beret. The oldest beret that we have records of is one that is worn by the subject of a Bronze Age sculpture from Sardinia. The figure is no less than 4,000 years old so the Basques, French and other Europeans can only claim to have innovated not invented. A skeleton dating from the eleventh century B.C. was found in Denmark still wearing his beret in his tomb and another beret from the eighth century B.C. was found in Austria

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