Monday, October 30, 2017

The Pittsburgh Potty

Having been gone from my home town for many years, and advancing in age, I've succumbed to the usual pangs of nostalgia for the good old days. Of course, the good old days weren't always as good as we like to remember ... as a consummate nerd, I was well and thoroughly bullied back in elementary and high school, but time tends to sand off the edges of the bad memories, and I've since reconnected with many of the old high school crowd (although not the bullies).

But aside from all that, there's an element of Pittsburgh nostalgia that came back when I read this article - What the Heck Is a 'Pittsburgh Potty' and Why Is It in Your Basement?

A "Pittsburgh Potty" is an ordinary toilet, but one that sits in an unusual place - usually right out in the open in the basement of older homes in the Steel City.

Considering that the toilet is usually employed in the service of functions that call for privacy, why does a Pittsburgh Potty sit in the open?

I'd never thought much about it, but the article has an interesting discussion of the history of the eponymous potty, and offers two competing theories. One relates it to the needs of the miners and steelworkers of the Pittsburgh region who would come home from work utterly filthy and enter their homes through basement doors or "mud rooms" where they could clean off the worst of the mess before going into the living areas. The other, which may be the more accurate, suggests that the toilets were placed in basements in order to keep frequent sewage backups at the lowest and easiest-cleaned level of the home.

Regardless of the real reason, I doubt that the old Pittsburgh Potty would be accepted in the wildly overpriced McMansions that we see here in NoVa.

Just plumbing the depths of history for you to start the new week.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Duckbutt said...

Extremely interesting!

John A Hill said...

How convenient!

Grand Crapaud said...

Why not?

Mike said...

It encourages you to 'shit and git'.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Ricks parents had a toilet in their basement - no doors either. Similar to this only a bit more discreet in a corner. I always found that weird. But it was in PA, but not Pittsburgh, just a bit east in Patton/Altoona area. :-)
And maybe this legend is correct his father was a miner.
We had a proper bathroom in the area of PA where I lived. Rick teases me and says I was from the big city & rich because we had a real bathroom in our basement.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I don't suppose the Pittsburgh Potty had some potpourri next to it.

allenwoodhaven said...

Just saw one of these, in Durham NC, on HGTV today. I've seen a couple in my life but never knew the name. Fortunately, I didn't need to use one. I like the first explanation better. And if that was the primary purpose, the other would still be helpful!

Chuck the Grumpy Cat said...

Pittsburgh has the Penguins and the Pirates. Why not a sports team called the Potties?