While bath tubs of various styles were available in cities by the mid-nineteenth century, the American Old West didn’t have easy access to delivery of such finery until after the Transcontinental Railway in 1869 (followed by additional railroads bringing delivery nearer to home) eliminated freight by horse-drawn wagon. Historic images of Montgomery Ward & Co. catalogs and Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs illustrate available options–some of which are simply too ingenious to miss! Who knew a kitchen sink so easily doubled as a bath tub? Or that a five-and-a-half-foot bathtub could fold up? Price comparisons (then to now) show why it took a good long while for most folks to afford more than a public bath (next post) or a bowl and pitcher to make do.
The Idaho Hotel was built in 1863–and is still open for business (in the summer months). Jacquie’s Much Ado About Silver City was held at this historic hotel. This article contains many images taken in June 2016 (and some historic images). Lots of amazing history and preserved elements of the past in this hotel! #JacquieRogersAdo16
The history of indoor toilets (including those that flush) goes back further into history than you might expect. I share the timeline of such facilities, followed by surviving examples of Victorian indoor toilets, schematics of proper plumbing techniques of the day, and floor plans including indoor tubs and toilets. Victorians–at least late Victorians–had life pretty comfortable.
The necessary (a.k.a. outhouse) had many Victorian Era-appropriate euphemisms: Quincy, small room, washroom…and was replaced with modern indoor plumbing both very early (1820’s at the White House) and very late (1950’s) in rural America. What did homeowners do when the necessary filled up? (ewww!) When was toilet paper invented? Why did outhouses have more than one seat?