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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
New museum in full flush
Bedpans
The exhibition has 150 objects on display
A museum display is offering the public the chance to experience the sights and smells of toilets through the ages.

The Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke-on-Trent has developed the permanent display on the subject of the loo with the help of national lottery funding.

The gallery takes visitors on a journey from the days before flushing toilets through to the appliances of the future.

There are more than 150 objects on display in the exhibition which is divided into seven different sections.

A toilet of the future
The toilet of the future?

A hands-on interactive area explores the different ways engineers and potters found solutions to the problem of removing waste.

Visitors can use a reproduction Thomas Crapper toilet while reading about the myths that surround the man who is often credited with the invention of the modern lavatory.

How people feel about using the toilet and the role of the loo in the British psyche is the focus of another section.

Other exhibits show how people on the move or in extreme environments - such as astronauts, Antarctic explorers and even the SAS - answer the call of nature.

The future of the "smallest room" concludes the exhibition.

Environmentally-friendly compost loos and waterless urinals sit next to the latest in toilet development and design.

A Cheshire company has donated its model of a futuristic toilet which can monitor human waste and spot health problems.

The Versatile Interactive Pan (VIP) has a voice-activated seat, automatic flush and at the first sign of a medical problem it can contact a doctor via the internet.

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