Sunday, May 17, 2015

Behind the Scenes of Beds, Baths & Beyond #2

Chamber Pot, Bed Pan & Commode
The Chamber Pot 

·         Chamber pots with lids were preferred because of the fumes and moisture of the waste material and were kept under the bed or in a nightstand.
·         Chamber pots were mostly used during winter months when the family members did not want to walk through the snow to get to the outhouse and during the night when they did not want to light a candle.
·         The shape of chamber pots made it convenient for women to squat or stand and was able to be hidden under the large skirts.
·         In the late 1800’s chamber pots were sometimes built into cabinets with closeable covers. 
·         Chamber pots are still used today in countries that lack indoor plumbing. 

The Bed Pan 
Was for the bedridden, whether ill, elderly, or injured.  The porcelain one shown here was mass produced in the late 1800’s.  The hollow handle could be used by the men, but it’s main function was for emptying the contents of the pan.

The Commode 
·         Replaced the chamber pot and the design became classier. 
·         The word commode is French for convenient or suitable.
·         In the United Kingdom commode often refers to a chair that may or may not be on wheels, enclosing a chamber pot.
·         Other terms used are the convenience, necessary stool, night stool, night commode, or toilet chair. 
Pictured is a commode from the Backus-Page House Museum

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