Mr. Mobley...I enjoyed your web site on Baker Co. I really had to laugh when I got to the picture of the pee pot under the bed. I use to have a white enamel one I bought years ago in the hardware store. Not knowing what they were for, I bought it for a bean pot. Cooked excellent beans in it. Unfortunately, my dad wouldn't eat my beans if he came to dinner. He finally told me that it was because I cooked them in the pee pot...LOL...Of course the pot had never been placed under a bed, only on the stove. Pam - 01/24/01

Saw your picture and it brought back memories of visiting on the old farm when I was a kid and my aunt would get up every night to wake her girls and make them use the pot so they would not wet the bed. My parents let you sleep in the wet sheets and that trained you a lot faster, and if that did not do the job, other means of positive re-enforcement came into play if needed.

As an old retired plumbing teacher, these were made in glazed crockery many years before the enameled or porcelain pots came along. One of the first visits to a museum, years ago was a shock when I found a room full of chamber pots on display. Later research in teaching would lead me to chairs enclosed around the legs and made in very skilled craftsmanship, in which the bottom of the chair lifted back to use the pot and a front door opened for servants to remove the jar, dispose of the contents, clean and replace in the enclosure. Disposal usually meant walking to the window, shouting "look out below" and giving the contents a toss into the street gutter. Other disposal was to place contents at a spot in front of the house, to be picked up by a person who plied such trade. If you came home 2 sheets in the wind, a missed-step would help sober you in a hurry. One of Europe's leading furniture makers got his start, making such chairs.

If comparing the chair to the pot show levels or classes of society, then think of the captain and sailors on the old square riggers. That fancy wood grillwork on the front of a square rigger not only braced the bowsprit, but was the location of sailor's sanitary facilities. Quick disposal in the ocean and constant cleaning as it dipped into high seas ----- bad time to have the trots. Now the captain had his private means located in one of those fancy glassed in sections at the rear of a ship. Even when taking his ease, he could see how the ship was being handled by other officers.

And in the old days of castles and battles upon the walls. The loud scream made by the guy falling toward the moat was not only as to the fall, but to where he was headed as all the castle's sewage went to the moat. and those fancy little round turret like enclosures on the walls, not only a place for the guard to seek shelter in bad weather but were also a means of privacy in which to answer nature's demands. Many of the finer large homes of the rich had the cesspool in the basement of the house which when cleaned, was done by the wagon load.

But the old timers made the T shirt sellers of today look like amateurs, as the likeness of many leaders graced the bottoms of chamber pots and had verse which aptly described the user's feeling toward such person. The furniture maker that really got rich was the one that combined a music box with the chamber pot chair to cover any sounds of embarrassment. And men think they are smart by flushing the commode first and then race to be finished in time. I always wondered what some one thought when they heard the sounds like crashing thunder, yet looked out the window for a storm and saw a clear night.

Just a few sanitary thoughts from the past.
James Fort jfort@quadro.net 6/27/01

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