Saturday, 21 November 2009

"She's kidding right? She wants me to go in what looks like a casserole dish Mum serves the Sunday veg in, with her actually holding the thing. Must be some sort of mad joke."

I am fully aware that our second Dresskeeper entry is once again about bowel movements, but those are the things that catch Picky’s attention when she is transported back in time. So let’s move on to our friend the Chamber pot.

When Picky is first introduced to the chamber pot, her maid is the one who brings it out to her and offers to hold up her skirts for her while she ... does what she needs to do. All of a sudden Picky realises that she no longer needs to go.

Chamber pots were kept under the bed so that it can be used quickly to answer that urgent call of nature. Many of them would also have a lid on them to keep everything inside. And if Picky thought just using it was “repulsive” then spare a thought for her poor maid, who would have had to empty out and clean up her mess after her every morning. Don’t you just love the class system?

Chamber pots were in use up until the 19th Century when the water closet was introduced. They are still used in some rural areas around the world. And you may be more familiar with its modern cousin – the hospital bedpan.

And finally ...
Contrary to popular belief, the appropriately named Thomas Crapper was not the inventor of the toilet. He was a plumber. The flush lavatory was invented in 1596 by John Harrington. The first practical W.C., one that was not prone to water freezes in the winter, was patented by Joseph Bramah in 1778.


  1. Sometimes I get so annoyed when thinking about history. I don't like the class systems, especially that someone has to clear up someone else's business. I don't see why they thought themselves so high and mighty that they couldn't clear it out themselves. Ohh, it annoys me!
    Another great post, cheers!

  2. Thank you for the comment. I understand where you are coming from about the class system. During this time the rich appeared to be too busy just being rich. They pretended not to have natural bodily functions.