[LMB] AKICOTL OT: Bathrooms in old houses

Marna Nightingale marna at marna.ca
Wed Oct 11 21:35:54 BST 2006

Azalais Aranxta wrote:
> Don't laugh, but...
> It's an AU Potterverse, so they have indoor plumbing.  It is in
> 1942, but the house is a large townhouse of the sort where one
> can throw large dance-parties.  What are the bathroom
> arrangements for guests?

Aaah, Privy History. :)

C.F. _Busman's Honeymoon_: "Everyfink QUITE modern, AS you'll find, 
needing only to be pumped up night and morning..."

They had 'em, they tended of course to be retrofitted and therefore 
small and in odd locations and often odder shapes -- the older the house 
the odder the retrofit, often -- (oh, stick it in that funny little 
triangular niche at the end of the hall, why not) and the number you put 
in depended on your (or, probably, in the city, your father's by 1942) 
financial resources. At least one for the family and one for the 
servants, probably one for every four or five bedrooms, to accomodate 

This is not QUITE past chamber pots under the beds, but only for 
overnight guests, and it was old-fashioned then.

Jilly Cooper notes that "upper-class loos reek of asparagus pee all 
summer", for what that's worth :)

Also note that they tended to be proper water closets -- toilets in 
little dark closets, not full bathrooms with room and sinks and things. 
Maybe a small washstand with a jug. Maybe.

Marna, whose house is circa 1890 and the bathrooms are circa 1930 and 
impressively small and odd.

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