What did EdwardianVictorian women do when they had to use the bathroom

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Robert M. Himmelsbach

Guest
Hmmm. We seem to have traveled from the "Gilded Age" to "bodily functions".
Well, not being one to shy away from discussions...
a) The chamber pot was also known colloquially as a "thunder mug". My aged father (91 this August) still refers to a bedpan by that term.
b) While fear does have an effect on some persons of causing them to "let go", in many other cases of life threatening situations, people's assorted sphincter muscles clamp down. Cold conditions will do that, too.
My guess is that most of the survivors simply didn't have the problem to consider, as the systems had gone on hiatus for the duration - 'though I bet arriving at the Carpathia there were many requests to be directed to the neccessary.
Also, keep in mind that many people had already turned in for the night when Titanic hit the 'berg, so many had probably already taken care of business, if people then followed the same patterns they do now.
A related question is what did one do with the infants and very small child survivors, who have a greater frequency of occaisions?!
 

Tracy Smith

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Apr 20, 2012
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If I'm not mistaken, Lady Duff Gordon was sick to her stomach and spent a good deal of her time in the lifeboat leaning over the side, throwing up. I wonder if there were any other people doing the same thing that night.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Gosh Dave, haven't heard of guzunders in years! Same with guzinders, which referred to long division sums, i.e. 12 guzinder 144 12 times!

Geoff
 
Dec 2, 2000
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What Dave says is true, he was booked on the return trip of Titanic.

This is a great thread. Certainly have learned things my mother never told me and some things I think my father protected me from. (SMILE)

Here in America, many of the historic homes have the chamber pots and the handles were used to handle them when dumping or reaching for them within the wooden chair seats.

But one experience I never will forget and may place a new light on difficulties. I was in Korea. In Korea there were wooden floors with many holes in them. Women generally wore long dresses there and merely bent down in a deep crouched down position for dealing with any call to nature. While I was there, a big thing was happening, flushables were being installed at the Children's Park. My step daughters and I appeared there in blue jeans. I walked in an laughed. The "flushables" were tiolet bowls mounted into the floor! All over the place. Still no privacy at all. The girls stood stunned and refused to try something new and different while their crazed step mom worked out things. God it was an experience I will never forget.

But one other thing I noticed is that the Korean culture saw nothing nasty about bodily functions and men regularly releived themselves and it was not a big deal. First class ladies may have been in shock but I doubt that third calls thought anything about it.

Just my two cents worth.
Maureen.
PS- Geoff and I had the same math teacher by the way.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Hi Mo, Did you mean Pythagoras? That dates us a bit doesn't it!! Did you I.M.me the other day? A message flashed up for literally a second - then disappeared! Would hate to have missed you!

Geoff
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Me flash you and you missed it?

Yes, I did in fact flash you. And yes, you missed it!

And yes, it was Pythagoras!
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
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Shelley, thank you so much for posting the link to Caswell-Massey for the Vinolia Otto Toilet Soap! I just bought five bars! It's currently on their website for Christmas sales at www.caswellmassey.com under Specialty Soaps. I hope it comes with a factoid sheet about its link to Titanic and its honorable mention in the film, "A Night to Remember."
This will go in my collection right next to my bar of Pears Soap and my Cherry Toothpaste jar reproduction.

All the best,
Kyrila
 
Apr 20, 2018
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Ha!

I'm not supposed to be able to answer this - being a guy! But...my Grandmother once let me in on the secret!

Crotchless drawers, old man...crotchless drawers...!

Also, as a boy in the 1950's, I remember 'button' flys, myself. Awful things. But you couldn't have the same nasty accident I once had with a zip...!

Better I leave it at that...!

John M
Yeah they had slits in there plantoons not the most hygienic by any means but it worked!!!
 
Apr 20, 2018
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Look at what I've started!

Interesting information. That's all I'll say...interesting.

I was puzzled to hear that a chamber pot had to be held, and that led me to wonder how it was used, but on later consideration, I've decided to not even ask.

Okay, here's my other question that may raise even more eyebrows:

Was toilet paper invented yet? And if not, what was used? This leads me to the eternal question: what on earth was toilet soap? (do I want to know)

What did they do? What DID they DO?!

David
Rags also for there periods they used rags