Everyone Poops

Those of you that have been to Morgantown Market know I mark the bathroom with an old bed pan that says, “Relax”. If you’ve ever used a bed pan you see the irony in that label. Where did the bed pan evolve from? Let's go back in time (cue Dr. Who Music)?

Chamber pots were used to relieve oneself at night in order to avoid a long walk to the outhouse and have been found as far back as the 6 century BC in Greece and the Edo period in Japan.

What we see now in antique shops are pieces and parts of sets that were called “The Brooklyn Toilet Set” and were sold by Sears and Roebuck. These sets included a slop pot, pitcher and bowl, cup, 2 small pitchers, chamber pot, and soap dish (some items came with lids). Often, the sets had their own piece of furniture called a commode. Hence, a term brought forward from history.

The commode took many forms, the New England Commode, with a lift top. The simple wash stand or the privy cabinet, which often fit into the corner of a room. Out of all these pieces it seems as though the Chamber pot is the one that survived, although the small pitchers are often mistaken as cream pitchers.