LMAO!!!Yes indeed. Daniel, if your brushing you teeth in your chamber pot, I'll bet you've stopped now!! You might be thinking about the basins in second class, where they didnt have fresh running water per se, but the steward would fill up a tank located above the basin, then you could fill up the basin at your leisure, using a spigot. When finished, you tipped the basin , and the used water would be collected in a tank below.
Private facilities were limited to the special suites on B deck and, if my recall is correct, a number of the C deck suites as well. As for "chamber pot etiquette," it is seemingly a lost art and hard to research. I would assume that given the large number of public rest rooms in First Class it probably wasn't much of an issue there, or in Second. What the mechanics of the operation in Third Class consisted of is probably best left to the imagination.
Wow, this is the best laugh I've had all day! Using a chamber pot for brushing ones teeth. Lawd ha' mercy! This would bring a novel definition to the concept of talking s**t! It least one wouldn't have to worry about anybody crowding one's personal space.
Don't forget slop jars! Those are the bigger taller vessels with handles and chamber pots were emptied in those. When I was a kiddie, they were put out on the roof , open, to "bleach out" in the sun. I also remember outhouses my dears- way down South. Both species of pots were recovered from Titanic.
I'm one of those people that also wonder about that weird stuff on the Titanic. There were actually only 2 baths for the 700 3rd class cabins. There were also cigar holders in the 1st class bathrooms-that's a new one
I don't know how you could share a bathroom with a complete stranger. But then again, people only bathed about twice a week. I can barely stand sharing my bathroom with my brothers as it is
Steerage was not well endowed as far as the crapper/shower thing is concerned. There were only 2 tubs for how many passengers. PEEEYEW.Imagine how filthy and disgusting it must have been. I think that is unfair to do to humans.
What one should remember is the personal hygiene was not the same at the turn of the last century as it is now. Many people in steerage had never seen indoor plumbing, let alone a flush toilet or a bathtub with running water. For example, in her third-class lavatories, Lusitania had self-flushing toilets in case the steerage passengers didn't what to do when they were done....
I don't think most third-class passengers on Olympic/Titanic even noticed the lack of bathing facilities. Most only washed once a week, if that, and almost never in a bathtub. Remember the scene in "My Fair Lady" in which Eliza didn't want to undress and get in the bathtub because she would "catch her death"? That's because many people were conviced that getting into a bathtub and wetting oneself all over would lead to all sorts of deadly diseases. Of course, we look at that now and know it's ridiculous, but then it was a very serious matter, especially with the state of medical care at the time.
Shelly my dear, do you remember the old Yorkshire privies? I'm not suggesting you've used one but may have seen some abandoned ones over here.
For those "ablutionally un-informed" members out there, during the nineteenth century, way before and even the first couple of years of the twentieth century, many rural houses (especially tied cottages - these were owned by the estate and either leased to its workers or given as grace and favour property) Many of these cottages were built in rows of half a dozen or so and without indoor sanitation. At the bottom of the garden would be a small building containing the toilet, or in the case of linked cottages - toilets - which consisted of a long platform which had six or seven holes cut out, one for each cottage. It was common especially first thing in the morning, for each of these "perches" to be occupied with various people all sitting together on the one platform (getting to know the neighbours must have had a different meaning then!) very often there was not even a cistern and chain so everything went into the stream over which the toilets had been built!
I had a great great aunt who lived for a while in one of these cottages and she told us that it was a common occurrence for the women to monopolise the toilets for a gossip, some even taking their knitting with them!
Does anyone, other than me, think we may have skipped over a few priorities in our conversations to get here?
But while we're here, wasn't it either the English or the French who gave us the phrase, "performing one's toilette"? I know several times I read this in Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories; it means, as I have come to believe in these cases, shaving and general freshening up maintenance.
Also, one G. Whitfield has suggested that I don't bathe once a week and I wish to say this is simply not true. I DO bathe one a week...when I can.
Those fancy privies of yours? As Shelley said, in the backhills of Kentucky we call those "outhouses." My papaw had a two-seater at his house on the Big Sandy crick. He was considered a man of means to have a two-seater outhouse! (By the way, by coincidence, his father's name was George Henry Hunt. And George Henry met his maker by drowning. Ring any bells?)
I can verify that what Eric said about hygiene at the turn of the century is absolutely true. I have a health book that was written in the late 1800's that encouraged people to pay more attention to bathing at least once a week, and three times a week was more preferrable. There must have been quite a debate over that writer's recommendations.
In the never-ending quest to explore hygiene aboard the great ship, I have run across this link which you may find enlightening: http://nobodys-perfect.com/vtpm
Yes indeed Mr. Cook, eau de toilette was that refreshing splash of a very watered-down perfume which was affordable to the masses and frankly masked disagreeable odors of the Great Unwashed. In tours of Gilded age mansions in Newport, I am glad to report that the upper crust seemed to have more of a penchant for bathing and even had salt water taps for the tub. How well I remember the little half moon carved into the outhouse door and the light filterering through on the Sears and Roebuck catalogue!
FWIW, if any of you have read Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes", he gives a very vivid depiction of life in rural Ireland in the late 30's, early 40's and he mentions how his family lived at the end of a row of houses with one outhouse for all of them at the back of their house. The stench almost rises from the pages!
I am sure things would have been even more primitive 30 years earlier when the Titanic sailed, and that the Irish emmigrants aboard would have been stunned by the facilities at their disposal on board.