1800s house interiors. Where are the bathrooms?

dreamtime

Well-known member
Messages
575
Reactions
2,956
What you are saying makes a lot of sense. While I have old documents, pictures, receipts, manuals, etc from 2005 and before.....after that time, I scan in everything and almost never keep the original. So this would make a lot of sense, if the world were "computerized" (or whatever they equivalent would have been called) at that time period, that would explain why there are so few original's to be found.
And the reason no silica/metal/crystal/whatever tech has survived could be very simple. It takes 1-2 generations in society at max until all usable material has been transformed, e.g. melted. That's the reason the copper on the top of the Roman Pantheon is long gone. The only thing that is not directly usable is concrete and to a lesser extent stone. Wood is gone, too. A mix of concrete and stone is the only material that is worth more if it keeps standing, because the building has still a practical purpose, but destroyed tech has not.

To get back to the original house interior bathroom question, if they had some advanced tech for sanitation, it has all been destroyed/melted, which means some part of the tech had disappeared beforehand, a primary part that made the stuff work. So people saw no reason to keep it. Just like if we had a cataclysm today no one would ever know there was something like floppy disks 20 years ago. Fascinatingly the floppy disk symbol is still used by software on user-interface elements related to saving files, just like churches still use symbols related to electricity (conducting domes, faraday cages, the double cross on ancient maps, etc.)

Or a better analogy would be if electricity would suddenly disappear, we would probably destroy everything related to computers and use it for other things.
 
Last edited:

whitewave

Well-known member
Messages
1,552
Reactions
4,885
So this would make a lot of sense, if the world were "computerized" (or whatever they equivalent would have been called) at that time period, that would explain why there are so few original's to be found.
Another reason why there are so few originals to be found. 15 tons of books and 4 million pictures destroyed in 1873. That doesn't include all the "accidental" fires, floods, earthquakes, etc. That's just what was destroyed intentionally.
 

whitewave

Well-known member
Messages
1,552
Reactions
4,885
The outhouses I've been in didn't have 3 seashells but they had corncobs (a red one and a white one to see if you needed another red one :) ) or they had sears and rowbucks catalogs. People complained about those glossy photograph pages. Teeheehee.
 

nothingnew

Well-known member
Messages
55
Reactions
240
And a question, why were pictures hung so they leaned away from the walls? Picture 7 above shows this most prominently, but several of the other pictures also show this. I have never seen this done like that before.
As I see it, the pictures are framed behind glass. Tilting it down diminishes looking at your own reflection or reflections from the outside light so you can see the art more clearly.

To get to the toilets and bathtubs, logically they could & should be removed first along with sinks as they all indicated far too well that they were built for a bit taller people then us.

Ninja edit: First that comes to mind, Babolovsky Palace for Tzar Alexander. Pics speak volumes

Langer_-_Babolovsky_Palace.jpg

giantbathtsaralexander2.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

Negotiator
Messages
3,990
Reactions
15,457
Factory houses (who knew?) sans bathroom of any description and cellar windows!
With kit houses having one or two stories going to the outhouse is not that hard with proper mindset. Doing the exact same thing living on the fifth floor is probably more troublesome. Historic accounts of people emptying chamber pots into streets suggest that not everyone preferred outhouses.

And what do we get from the narrative?
  • In 1775, the Scottish inventor Alexander Cumming was granted the first patent for the design of a flushing toilet. Although the Romans were known for their innovation in sanitation, which included public toilets and the sewage system (though this apparently did not improve public health ), these facilities vanished from Middle Age sanitation practices. Instead, human waste was disposed in quite an unhealthy manner.
Flushing toilets (apparently) were patented in 1775. Where are they in Ponce de Leon Hotel, for example?
 

jd755

Well-known member
Messages
767
Reactions
2,028
Well I have physically walked down streets of a few towns here in good ole Britain old enough to have this crap throwing affair done to them and I call bullshit on the fairy story as it would have quickly become disease ridden, speaking from my former life as a plumber who has broken the crust on too many cess pits I can tell you shit sticks, for a long time and it reeks as it begins to break down, really reeks.
I've also been to the bog in a fair few houses without an internal toilet and my dear friend still has his although these days there is also one inside the house. Thing is the house was built in the mid thirties, 1930's with a bathroom but no inside toilet. My mothers council house where I lived for 27 years had a separate toilet though inside the house just off the kitchen alongside the back door. On the other side was 'the coal hole' and together they were closed off from the kitchen by a door which formed a short corridor inbetween the toilet and coal hole.

I comprehend what you are saying about any building over two levels high. Here there were night soil men and under every bed there was a chamber pot. What was used during the day is the question, really.

As for the local, to me terraced houses, ground and first floor (first and second in your neck of the woods) I recall a conversation(early 1980') with a neighbour of my mothers who must have been in her late seventies or early eighties and she said as a little girl she lived in just such a two up two down terraced house where two families shared the building. One living upstairs one downstairs. No bathrooms and just the one outside toilet. She never said if it was plumbed in or night soil man did the emptying but i suspect it was plumbed to the sewer.
In her family there was mam and dad and two girls and a boy. If memory serves there was also a lodger to help meet the weekly rent.
She and her siblings were washed in the kitchen sink when small then in front of the fire in a galvanised wash tub which is the way all the adults cleaned themselves. Another world, quite literally.
 

Magnetic

Well-known member
Messages
144
Reactions
502
The pictures are hanging from wooden picture rails with one of these things as 'the hanger'. When i was a nipper in the sixties my parents house had pictures similarly hung and it was built in the early thirties.

View attachment 15833

and here is the rail profile.

View attachment 15834

As for the fireplaces and clutter the fireplaces had fire guards or screens to prevent sparks from doing too much damage and hot coals from escaping. Old carpets were not made from petrochemicals and were reluctant to catch fire preferring to char instead. As they were expensive items in comparison to the wooden floors greater care was taken by the servants.
Post automatically merged:

Here's one from 1879 and more at the link.


And more at this search

Difficulty is getting past the gatekeeper twins wikiliar and pinterest but will plug away.
Post automatically merged:

From one persons search into the history of their home in England.
"I also learnt that in 1848 a Health Act was passed which led to laws requiring access lanes to be built for the removal of waste from houses – there were no flushing toilets in those days! The original drainage channel can still be seen in the passageway at the back of my house."
"I found that it was built between 1877 and 1890"


Still late 19th century but the 1848 act date is worthy of note.

No kitchen but 2 libraries! Can you eat books back then?
 

ripvanwillie

Active member
Messages
39
Reactions
191
Apparently this toilet problem was addressed by the King of France in 1539!
From the book The History of Shit by Dominique Laporte: https://bit.ly/2MifwEZ

"François, King of France by the Grace of God, makes known to all present and all to come our displeasure at the considerable deterioration visited upon our good city of Paris and its surroundings, which has in a great many places so degenerated into ruin and destruction that one cannot journey through it either by carriage or on horseback without meeting with great peril and inconvenience. This city and its surroundings have long endured this sorry state. Furthermore, it is so filthy and glutted with mud, animal excrement, rubble and other offals that one and all have seen fit to leave heaped before their doors, against all reason as well as against the ordinances of our predecessors, that it provokes great horror and greater displeasure in all valiant persons of substance. These scandalous and dishonorable acts are the work of corrupted individuals who sojourn and assemble in this our city and its surroundings. The corruption and stench that accompany the aforementioned muds, mucks, and other offals have been borne in times past without cause. As we consider the aforementioned situation, as it has been put before us by several people in our council, as well as other notable individuals, we find it necessary to take hasty precautions and seek appropriate remedies for the righteous governance of this our city and its surroundings, towards which we feel a singular affection as is the rightful due of the principal and most notable city of our kingdom."

...Article 4. —"We forbid all emptying or tossing out into the streets and squares of the aforementioned city and its surroundings of refuse, offals, or putrefactions, as well as all waters whatever their nature, and we command you to delay and retain any and all stagnant and sullied waters and urines inside the confines of your homes. We enjoin you to then carry these and promptly empty them into the stream and give them chase with a bucketful of clean water to hasten their course."

The King went on and demanded cesspools be installed in every church and residence within the city and surrounding areas, and apparently, they only gave them three months to do it! Livestock was banned as well.

One thing I noticed upon re-reading this quote was this line:
"...against all reason as well as against the ordinances of our predecessors."
Who were the King of France' predecessors? The Romans, the Celts?
Who built Paris?
How many years did these "Parisians" trash the city someone else built before being noticed?
Whoever they were, they were obviously much cleaner than the barbaric people who came to occupy Paris in the 16th century.
 

anotherlayer

Well-known member
Messages
656
Reactions
2,220

nothingnew

Well-known member
Messages
55
Reactions
240
I do not know much about beer, but these rulers/pharaohs/builders were heavily into alcohol, possibly due to lower vibrational state associated with it. Googling granite brewing came up with a bunch of results on beer brewing so it could be a thing.
 

Verity

Well-known member
Messages
137
Reactions
598
I
the million dollar question is how did people solve those problems of cleaning, hygiene, etc. before.
If someone would solve this puzzle, I feel lots of things would fall into place.
Maybe, in the past, people dealt with human wastes in a different way, one that didn't involve flushing it into the water system and then filtering it out in vast sewage plants like we do now.
I've tried my level best to explain, but Occam's Razor is totally dysfunctional at times.
Wouldn't be the first time, probs won't be the last. I'm not about to take it personally.

If anything seems too vast a stretch I'd be happy to go one-on-one with anyone able to point out flaws as they see them.
I'm absolutely confident of the validity of claims within this older post Sanitation, soils and sewers..

the 1878 abandoned San Francisco Images tell us this city had running tap water in the dwellings , where are the dams , the storage and filtration /purification treatment facilities and where are the pumping stations , also where is the sewerage and the associated manholes/covers and reticulation network
I haven't seen these images you speak of, but question why the water supply could not have been rain water collected and plumbed from the roof like extant old countryside properties even today? Basic gravity-fed worked for the Romans too.
Why must a damn have been involved if indoor plumbing was in its infancy for the wealthiest few?
If it was pre-industrial rain water why must it need purification?
And, if plumbing was in its infancy, why would waste water etc. not be plumbed down to flush straight out to existing underground tunnels with seemingly no purpose?

To take this last idea even further, I am starting to wonder if the more gently graded not-quite perfectly circular tunnels below ground which are considered Victorian sewers today, were cobbled for the original night-soil collectors- Mr. Plod the horse hauling his night-soil cartage with his owner Mr. Ploppy, who both then became obsolete when the flush cistern/damn/reticulation et al. came in en mass.
This idea would also work with the older style Roman public system, where the collection would then be carted away underground to the countryside via these smaller rounder tunnel systems built for the purpose. They're neatly horse and cart-sized at least. (It's an idea, I can't prove it but it makes sense on several levels.)

Light relief;
Any cholera, dysentery and typhoid-splashing accidents would be contained underground, presumably he'd throw a pail of water over it to move it along- no messy streets, and a straight route to the countryside for knowledgable farmers to process in to compost.
Compost material once known as black gold (and in some permaculture circles today too).
I'm not making this up. Mr. Ploppy was there doing his job until he was washed away with the engineering skills of modernity. Modernity is the devil of details.
Bad 19th Century Jobs – The Nightman
 

jd755

Well-known member
Messages
767
Reactions
2,028
Verity have a read through this thread and the links. 1878 was far more 'sophisticated' than we are told or we imagine it to be. 1878 Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill
There were coal fires, woodburners and gas radiant heaters in use.
There was an in town gas plant producing gas by heating coal.
There was pressurised mains water and internal plumbing as evidenced by the variety of outdoor header tanks on many but not all properties.
Industry was everywhere mixed up with domestic housing.
There was a massive whaling operation providing whale oil for lamps.
On street able cars, on street horse drawn cars, all running on rails laid in the streets.
The railroad was in town.
They were assembling iron ships and producing wrought iron right there in town.

Given that mission creek often gets talked about as an 'open sewer' I would say sewers as we know them were not in use so there were no flushing toilets. My guess is chamber pots aka night soil and outhouses over middens were the sanitation standard of the day.
 

Verity

Well-known member
Messages
137
Reactions
598
Verity have a read through this thread and the links. 1878 was far more 'sophisticated' than we are told or we imagine it to be. 1878 Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill
There were coal fires, woodburners and gas radiant heaters in use.
There was an in town gas plant producing gas by heating coal.
There was pressurised mains water and internal plumbing as evidenced by the variety of outdoor header tanks on many but not all properties.
Industry was everywhere mixed up with domestic housing.
There was a massive whaling operation providing whale oil for lamps.
On street able cars, on street horse drawn cars, all running on rails laid in the streets.
The railroad was in town.
They were assembling iron ships and producing wrought iron right there in town.

Given that mission creek often gets talked about as an 'open sewer' I would say sewers as we know them were not in use so there were no flushing toilets. My guess is chamber pots aka night soil and outhouses over middens were the sanitation standard of the day.
Thanks, I hadn't seen it yet- had a quick scan, looks good (as usual). Will look properly tomorrow, I'm totally exhausted. And I do agree with you completely re. chamber pots. Hence my view on it all and the link to my older post. Night!
 

Top