Went for a cuppa today at the Harveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms, famous for being the oldest building in North Queensland
An old-school monster of a urinal at Bertha’s in Baltimore’s Fells Point. What a bulky piece of equipment this thing is.
A humorous sign for punters to read while they piss:
There were a couple of interesting & educational toilet-related exhibits waiting for me at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
An historic house from the 1760’s that stood in Ipswich, Massachusetts, was taken apart in 1963 and reassembled in the museum, thanks to a group of concerned residents who didn’t want to see such a beautiful old structure go to waste. A three-part shed was added onto the house in the 1800’s, including this outhouse which remained in use until 1946:
Elsewhere in the museum I spied some more American toilet history in the form of this elaborate ceramic bowl circa 1900:
There were two very special toilets at Wyatt Historic House, in the small city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
Firstly: this chamber pot, hidden inside the steps to the bed in one of the grand old bedrooms. Just put on the cover & push the pot back in when you’re done!
And secondly, how about this glorious old bathroom? This is the original dating back to 1907, in what was one of the most authentic historic houses I think I’ve ever seen
This is the oldest indoor flush toilet in Toronto!
I took a tour of Colborne Lodge in High Park today; my guide told me it was installed by surveyor & engineer John George Howard around 1860 and remains complete with original wallpaper & toilet roll holder. Even more fascinating is the bathroom was built behind a secret door, camouflaged to look like it was part of the wall, because back in those days indoor toilets were thought to be unsanitary. Guests didn’t even know the room existed.
The loo in the magnificent marble bathroom of Toronto’s very own castle, the Casa Loma
The cisterns at the police watch house adjacent to the Old Melbourne Gaol were operated by officers from outside the cell. If any of the cellmates caused trouble, the toilet would’t be flushed for a few days as a form of punishment.
A few months ago I visited the Imperial Hotel in the Blue Mountains that laid claim to having the oldest flush toilet in Australia.
I was recently contacted by Hobart resident, Dr Neville Dawson, after stumbling across the aforementioned post. He let me know the fascinating details of a flush toilet situated in Hopkins Hall that potentially dates back to the mid-19th century and is still in working condition!
Neville was kind enough to pass on some photos and details on the historic building as well as the toilet itself:
“The stables and Hopkins Hall were built by convicts for Henry Hopkins, Hobart in 1835. Hopkins Hall was the first Congregational Church building in Australia. (much later, Uniting Church). Ironmonger C Davis – is on my old toilet as you can see from photos sent.”
According to Alison Alexander from the University of Tasmania’s Companion to Tasmanian History, Charles Davis was a convict who was released from penal institution in 1847. He later established himself as a successful ironmonger and businessman, eventually boasting a warehouse, an importing business and four retail stores under his control.
Neville continues, “My toilet would not be the same age as my building (1835) as C Davis did not start his business until 1847. But being a Church they would have needed one as early as possible. It most probably was installed at the back, in part of the stables during the 1850’s.”
It could well be that Hopkins Hall holds the oldest working flush toilet in the Great South Land? Many thanks to Nevllle for getting in touch, and if anybody else is aware of any other historic old Australian restrooms then please feel free to drop a line in the comments below.
* Photos courtesy of Dr Neville Dawson
A tropical cell at Darwin’s historic Fannie Bay Gaol
This is claimed to be the oldest flushing toilet in Australia. It’s located in the Imperial Hotel in the Blue Mountains town of Mt Victoria, and most likely manufactured sometime between 1900-1910 by Royal Doulton.
* Also be sure to check out the post on Hopkins Hall to hear about another historic old toilet!