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A History Of Portable Toilets
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A History Of Portable Toilets


A History Of Portable Toilets

Portable toilets have a firm place in our lives from construction sites to music festivals. While many believe them to be a modern addition however, they’ve actually been around (in a manner of speaking) for quite some time. In fact, you could say they’ve existed for millennia. Let’s take a trip down the road of portable toilet history and see just where they came from.

6th Century Chamber Pots – quite possibly the first portable toilet ever in existence and this came about as early as the 6th century in Greece. The toilets were known as chamber pots and more commonly made out of pottery or tin, stoneware or other materials of that nature. They were named chamber pots as they were commonly used within the bedroom chamber. In spite of their very early existence, they were actually still being used as late as the 20th century.

14th Century Egyptian Portable Toilet – archaeologists recently discovered perhaps one of the oldest portable toilets to date when they discovered the Tomb of Kha. The potty was actually made of a wooden stool with a hole carved in to the middle of it. The hole sat above a piece of pottery known as a vessel that collected the waste.

1940’s to 1980’s Modern Portable Toilets – the modern portable toilet that we know and love today first came into existence around the 1940’s in California. History tells us that a dock manager noticed his workmen were wasting time walking around the docks in search of the nearest toilets so he decided to do something about it. He created a temporary toilet on each boat the workmen were working on. These were made from wood and possessed a small holding tank, not too dissimilar to the ones you see today. From the 1950’s to the 1960’s, the need for these portable toilets increased rapidly. This meant different companies jumping on the bandwagon and creating their own version. While there were numerous new designs, the materials used still remained as wood and metal making them much harder to move around. In the 1970’s however, companies decided to start manufacturing them out of fibreglass making them easier to manoeuvre. Fast forward to the 1980’s and the materials changed yet again from fibre glass to an even lighter weight plastic which made them not only easier to move around but easier to build too.

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It’s safe to say that portable toilets are a necessity within today’s society. While they haven’t always been as ‘portable’ as perhaps they are now, they’ve been around for a long time and look set to be around for an even longer time to come. If you’d like more information on our portable toilet hire services in London or anywhere else in the UK, simply contact our team today.

A History Of Portable Toilets

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