In urban areas, the emptying of chamber pots straight into the street, and the accumulation of piles of human waste, resulted in disease and an unpleasant urban environment. Night-soil men were often employed to collect excreta, which was spread on the fields as fertilizer. Although Sir John Harrington had developed an indoor flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I in 1596, it was not until the rise of mass industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century that domestic toilets were mass-produced in northern England. Flushing technology was improved through the efforts of inventive manufacturers such as John Shanks, George Jennings, Alexander Cummings, and Thomas Crapper in the United Kingdom (Reyburn 1969) and Thomas Maddocks, John Randall Mann, William Campbell, and Henry Demarest, among others, in the United States (Palmer 1973). Early toilet manufacturers were generally companies that had first made their name in the manufacture of china and earthenware. Such English companies as Minton, Twyford, and Doulton adapted their production processes to make porcelain toilet bowls and pans. Toilet design was based upon the “sit” rather than “squat” mode of excretion (which required nothing more than a hole in the ground). The sit approach required a specific and highly marketable consumer product, the “pedestal” toilet, along with all the plumbing fixtures, such as taps (faucets), cisterns, basins, and fittings that together made up the “bathroom.” Interestingly, urinals for men, although a common feature of public toilets, are not generally a feature of private domestic bathrooms. These artifacts were exported from Britain to the rest of the world as a sign of modernity and Western progress, and were rapidly adopted for fear of being seen as “backward” or “dirty,” in spite of the fact that the majority of the world’s population squats when eliminating waste, a position that is ergonomically more healthy and efficient.
We live in a recently completed townhouse that was built with double-wall construction. That construction method was touted by the builder as what would keep sound from penetrating between the units. But we can hear the next door neighbors' TV and stereo, and sometimes voices and even snoring, through the wall. While sometimes it's the volume, mostly it's the bass sounds coming through the wall. They say they don't hear us, but we keep our bass turned down. They crank up the bass, and they are not going to change that. They also are not going to do anything construction-wise to help from their side. What is the best way for us to try to block the low frequency/bass sounds from penetrating the existing wall into our side?
My hot water heater needed replacement. Deanna was very pleasant, knowledgeable, and most helpful. She scheduled my appointment and James M. and Aaron arrived exactly on time. They were professional and had the job done in no time! Although it was a bit more expensive than I was expecting, the service was excellent. Thank you for a job well done.
Those who attempted to bring plumbing indoors faced technical as well as attitudinal challenges. Decisions on how wastewater was removed required as much concern as those made to ensure an adequate water supply. But equally vexing was the prevailing miasma theory of disease, which held that illnesses stemmed from "bad air" that was readily identifiable by its offensive odor. This led to a distrust of early indoor plumbing that tended to leak and a deadly fear of the sewer gas that accompanied the leaks. It is no wonder then that many individuals maintained a strong belief that elimination was best taken care of out of doors.