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Harrington Ajax of 1596

I am fascinated by lavatories and have a whole filing cabinet full of pictures and other crap!

1896 George Jemmings
'Closet of the Century'




Moule Patent Seal
Closet 1860

Earth Closet

The champion of the earth closet was the Reverend Henry Moule, vicar of Fordington near Dorchester.
You can make an earth closet like his as follows:

1.  Build a box from timber approximately 18" high. I made my framework from 2" x 1" softwood timber and both sides and the top from 9mm plywood.

2.  Make sure that the top covers all the sides and frame.

3.  In the centre of the top cut a round hole approximately 10" in diameter - make sure you sand around the edges!

4.  You do not need to make a back for this box; if you do, make sure that the back is hinged.

5.  Underneath the hole place a bucket - I used an ordinary plastic bucket.

6.  You then need dry earth. I collected this from the garden, put it in a roasting tin, and dried it first in the sun, and then on top of the boiler in the kitchen. I kept it beside the earth closet in an old nappy pail with a close-fitting lid - otherwise it can be dusty.

Each time I used the earth closet I took one small shovel full of earth - say one or two cupfuls - and covered my offering. This was plenty.  I found I could use the closet for about a week before the bucket needed emptying. I then buried the remains in the garden and started again.

This was highly successful. There was no smell. The rest of the family approved. The only problem is the collection and drying of the earth - this does require a bit of effort.

You can learn more about the Rev Henry Moule here.


Thunder, Flush &
Thomas Crapper

Thunder Flush and Thomas CrapperYou may have seen my lavatorial extravaganza.

Find out about Thomas Crapper and how he did not invent the loo (although he was a plumber of repute!).

Thomas CrapperI am pleased to say that Mr Crapper’s Firm has been revived and has a website.

More loo pics ...

A roman loo

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See also my 2004 World Toilet Day article.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:52 

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