Domestic Life 1912

Apr 11, 2001
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Didn't seem to be a place for this catagory- although it is a fascinating subject. If Titanic's First Class was supposed to feel like an English country house, I wonder what Third Class was supposed to be. Looking over the first artifacts, one of the very first images which came back was the debris field full of crockery and A CHAMBER POT! Gives one pause- these utilitarian objects. I have been looking into waterclosets, loos and plumbing in the Lizzie Borden case- and have now "plunged" (no pun intended) into 1912 plumbing!
Study this, Gentle Reader:make sure to read about the 1912 Dutch toilet
http://www.plumbingworld.com/toilethistoryindia.html
 
Apr 11, 2001
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As an afterthought, and hoping none of you were too shocked by the above- whilst in London, I stayed at a hotel on Picadilly Circus and was amused to still see that the bathroom meant the place where one had a shower or bath- not to be confused with the TOILET which was quite different. Americans still cringe at that word- we prefer "Powder room, Ladies' Room, etc." Europeans have no such qualms.I had to get a matron to unlock the "bathing room" every morning. And this was in 2000! The bedrooms did have a sink basin - exposed in the room- not actually an American concept- and we won't even discuss BIDETTES! Remember that line of Mrs. Astor's in SOS Titanic?! Should we even contemplate 1912 "bathroom tissue"?
 
May 12, 2005
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Shell,

Leave it to you, dearest one, to discuss toilets with class! And we do hate that word toilet don't we?

As to 1912 bathroom tissue I'd be afraid to imagine!

Randy
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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LOL Tracy!

We Brits do love our toilet humour I'm afraid, though we're not all so old-fashioned as dear Shelley made us sound above!

In 3rd class though, if they had chamber pots, erm, who emptied them then? And where? Oh boy, are we 'plumbing' the depths now!
 
Apr 11, 2001
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I have actually seen the Titanic white ironstone chamberpots and the larger slop jar in which these were emptied. These were for use in the cabins I presume -am sure there were toilets (cringe cringe) located throughout the 2nd and 3rd class as well as private ones attached in the suites of First Class. Turkish baths are a REAL treat and not as obsolete as one may think- check THIS out!- Turkish baths had nothing to really DO with baths- more of a sweat it out sauna, a rinse and massage. I LOVE the scene in SOS TITANIC when the Countess of Rothes peers at those young Irish boys through the steamed window- they sneak up to look at 1st class. This was probably cut in the short version but is PRICELESS, Now LEARN ALL ABOUT turkish baths- fascinating!Yes- the webpage is COMING SOON....
http://www.victorianturkishbath.org/
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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I hope this doesn't get me kicked off the board, but I love it!

What have the starship Enterprise and toilet paper got in common?

They both circle Uranus looking for Klingons!
proud.gif


I think that plumbs the depths and starts excavating the sea bed!

BTW excellent link Shelley, some lovely pix. I think we should stay with the Titanics sanitation system, it's very interesting, and I think we should get to the bottom (boom boom!) of it!

Regards

Sam
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Have been reding a superb volume called The Edwardian Era today and am relieved to learn the Edwardians had espoused the "germ" theory-which had been learned the hard way by the Victorians (Poor Prince Albert and those nasty drains and typhoid!). They poured carbolic soap and something called IZAL (a disinfectant) everywhere, kept well- scrubbed and promoted "pure food, air, and bodies"- and had a reassuring approach to personal hygiene (this was upper and middle class at least)- physical education or PT was greatly encouraged for boys and girls.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Shelley: EDWARDIAN TOILET PAPER. Since, a few days ago, there was some speculation about "bathroom tissue" I figured I could jump in with some items from my collection of vintage ads......here goes: "LITTLE JEWEL A Special medium sized perforated roll, fair grade paper and A BIG BARGAIN at $2.25 per case of 100 rolls." Or perhaps you might want "CLIMAX ( ahem.....) A Fine large perforated roll. Excellent paper. $3.95 per 100" and, if "CLIMAX" is too racy for you, there is always "THE PURITAN" whose fine qualities caused the copy men to wax positively lyrical: "The Finest Grade of special tissue manila , guaranteed free from injurous chemicals. $6.15 per 100 rolls." The paucity of dialogue (or illustration) would seem to imply that there was a residual "Victorian" squeamishness regarding...ahem....the lower functions, BUT if we scan a bit we come to (I kid you not) "SELF ABUSE Cured/Parts Enlarged: A victim of youthful errors causing Emissions, small parts, Lost Manhood, Varicocele, Nervous Debility etc will send (sealed) FREE to all fellow sufferers a simple means of certain self-cure which he discovered after trying in vain all known remedies. Address with stamp to L.S. Franklin Music Dealer, Marshall Michigan" which leaves one wondering any number of things, not the least of which is why there was so much (seeming) reluctance to give offense with the "bathroom tissue" ads while running that particular treasure uncensored. But at least our forefathers and mothers were spared the agony of that pervert Mr. Whipple......who, come to think of it, might have been a great spokesman for L.S. Franklin's miracle cure.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Oh come on Shell, you can't fool me that you folk in The Americas have never heard of IZAL. Goodness me, I was raised on the stuff! It was/is an amber coloured liquid with a fearfully strong disinfectant aroma, when I was a child it went everywhere! Kitchen surfaces, tiled floors, lino, down the loo - I even seem to recall going on my first date with a dab behind my ears!
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Alas Sir Geoff- we are IZAL impaired. But we had glorious LISTERINE which mother poured down our throats all winter. I must just check the patent dates on Lestoil and Pinesol disinfectants- both have a smell which will curl nosehairs! I see IZAL, like Coleman's mustard and Bovril has been around since pre-Titanic times and still going strong. James, I hope you have visited The Virtual Toilet Paper Museum-those ads you posted have MADE my Monday morning complete FOTFL!
http://nobodys-perfect.com/vtpm
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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SHELLEY (I warn you in advance, this is in awful taste) While I was looking for Edwardian Toilet paper ads, I came up with THIS 1944 horror which ties in BEAUTIFULLY with the IZAL/Lysol discussion. Copies available on request:
This is one of those ads illustrated with comic-strip artwork, headed CALLING DR JONES- A Wise Doctor Help Jane Overcome the "One Neglect" that mars so many marriages. (Beginning with panel one, which shows Jane and husband dressing) JANE: What's wrong, Doug....don't you love me any more? DOUG: There's no use talking about it, Jane. Maybe if you saw a doctor.... (cut to the Doctor's office) JANE: Tell me, Dr Jones....is it Doug's fault or mine? DR JONES: I think it's YOUR fault. Husbands seldom forgive ignorance about feminine hygiene. (next panel) JANE: I never DREAMED....what should I do, Doctor? DR JONES: I advise LYSOL SOLUTION. Used for douching it's antiseptic, cleans and deodorizes. (next panel) DR JONES:....besides LYSOL won't harm sensitive v*ginal tissues....follow the directions. It's easy to use....and economical. JANE: Thank you, Doctor (final panel) SOME TIME LATER (a beaming Jane is shown on the telephone) DOUG: Hey, mate, how about a dine and dance date this P.M.? JANE: Of course, Doug darling.... (thought balloon) ummm....Everything's been wonderful since I've been using Lysol regularly. FOR FEMININE HYGIENE USE LYSOL. Buy War Bonds And Stamps.

Staggering, is it not? The mental image of Doug and Jane enjoying bathroom-scented martial bliss is not a pleasant one. One a liner-oriented note, I found a 1969/70 ad "35 Single And Psychoneurotic" (for Valium) which shows a beautiful young girl (1955) deteriorating into A 35 year old frump posing aboard the United States (1969) wearing cat woman glasses, a glum expression and a "sensible" coat (with "sensible" handbag clutched in front of her, all because she's in "the losing pattern" and needs Valium. As the ad points out, not only is she psychoneurotic BUT she may very well never marry! Which, I suppose, are tragedies of equal proportions.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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I had hoped no one would notice that..... Freudian Slip or poor typing skills? Perhaps equal parts of both. MARITAL bliss is, of course, what should have been there. Imagine, if you will, the TV shot which LYSOL could build around that particular application in these days of blatantly vulgar advertising. Or, PINESOL, for that matter.....
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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I remember, on first glimpses of photographs taken of Olympic/Titanic staterooms, I was struck by the fact they had sinks in them. I found that odd, until I thought that this was essentially a 19th century generation who were used to the wash basin and pitcher means of cleaning up. So, just because of this new-fangled thing called "indoor plumbing" they had no intention of changing their bathing habits. Indeed, how much do We alter our everyday hygiene habits from what we were taught, told, discovered etc. from early adolescence on?
Intersting thing, this "historical grooming". The only thing I can contibute to the toilet paper part is from a facsimile edition of a 1913 Kresge's Katalog ( yes, "Katalog", I think they were trying to be clever!). Only two listings for TP: "Japanese crepe toilet paper"...5 cents for two 3 and 1/4 ozs. And "Waldorf" (!) toilet paper, 9oz. roll: 5 cents. 17 oz. roll: 10 cents.
Three listings for tiolet paper holders, 5/10 cents, all nickel plated with wooden rollers (black enamled).
Oh dear, I feel I have such a potty-mouth!
Kris-
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Some useful tips for gentlefolk whilst visiting in the next country house party(according to Miss Davis' "Rules of Politeness", 1908) "Young ladies, be careful to keep your room as neat as possible. Do not let garments lie scattered about PROMISCUOUSLY!" "Don't bite into a whole peach at table the same as you would if you were out under the tree. When eating grapes, do not blow the pits into the plate and all over the table.When a meal is concluded,it is reprehensible to push away the last plate and brush crumbs on the cloth into little heaps!" NOW we are ready for the Astors's....
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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And, for the host or hostess: "At the close of their stay, if you would be happy to have the visitors remain longer, you will frankly tell them so. If they insist upon going, you will aid them in every way possible in their departure. See that their baggage is promptly conveyed to the train. Examine the rooms to find whether they have forgotten any article that they would wish to take. Prepare a lunch for them to partake of on their journey. Go with them to the depot. Treat them with such kindness and cordiality to the close that the recollection of their visit will ever be a bright spot in their memory. Remain with them until the train arrives. They would be very lonely waiting without you. You will ever remember with pleasure the fact that you made the last hours of their visit pleasant. And thus, with the last hand shaking, and the last waving of adieu, as the train speeds away, keep up the warmth of hospitality with your guests to the very end. It is perhaps the last time you will ever see them."
The closing line is a charmer. An updated version would have to bear such pithy advise as "make sure that they bear a minimum amount of metal objects. If they bear contagion, see that they have as isolated a seat as can be obtained on the plane. If they are well, fortify them with Vitamin infusions and gauze masks, and supply them with an antibacterial to carry with them lest their seat mate be virulent. Supply them with a non-perishable lunch, lest meal service on their seven hour flight be suspended. Fill them with such good cheer that they scarcely notice the array of Burning World Trade Center postcards available for sale INSIDE THE TERMINAL (as of last week at JFK) or the dolt who has taken the whole overhead rack space for their row with a steamer trunk sized carry-on. It is, perhaps, the last time they will willingly fly ANYWHERE so you mightn't see them for a bit."
 
Apr 11, 2001
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As Ben Franklin once observed, "Visitors and guests both stink in three days" and Jane Austen, "It was a delightful visit-perfect in being much too short."The perfect hostess, Madame Recamier, could make every guest feel the shining star of her salon by merely murmuring "Enfin!" (At Last!) when he came in and "Deja?" (So soon?) when he departed. Sigh... the Gilded Age's last gasp- and we call ourselves CIVILIZED?