Outhouses, Then and Now

I was first introduced to an outhouse at the tender age of 3. Having lived in a brown stone in Montreal, with all conveniences, I found it a bit confusing, when I moved to our new home, to have to be led through the attached wood shed to do my business.

Keep in mind, this was in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Where, in the 50’s the winters were very cold and long. No wonder us Canadians grow up tough.

In design and functionality, outhouses, have not changed much over the the centuries. In the the 1600’s, it was not unusual to find them positioned on bridges spanning the river Thames. It is said that little children had to have adult accompaniment so they did not fall through and into the river. I never fell through, but I just about froze my a_ _ off.

Outhouse art has run the gauntlet of creativity.

Now to the crescent moon on the door. Folklore has it that the moon represents a female, and the sun a male. It seems that women looked after the dwelling better than men, – who were more prone to use Nature at their convenience.

Most outhouses are meant to be strictly functional in design. But there are some that I think could pass as front yard worthy.

Oops, I think we will move this one to the back yard!

The outdoor convenience has not changed a whole lot over the centuries, until just recently this transparent version popped up in Japan. Once you are inside, and lock the door, the glass becomes opaque, nobody can see in. The wonders of technology. I just wonder if it can be depended on to perform as planned every time. For now, for me, the tried and true with all it’s little critters to welcome me works just fine. Time will tell. Cheers.

8 thoughts on “Outhouses, Then and Now

  1. margaret21 October 20, 2020 / 1:35 pm

    That’s just fascinating. I too was brought up until the age of about 4 with a privy at the bottom of the garden – yes, it was a cold dark walk to get there. I don’t remember minding though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SueW October 21, 2020 / 3:19 am

      My nana’s house and also my aunt’s house had outside toilets that were up the street, thankfully ours was indoors!

      Liked by 1 person

      • margaret21 October 21, 2020 / 5:18 am

        Ah, you young thing! We had an indoor toilet put in towards the end of our time there (it was the house that came with the job. My mum was head of a two-teacher village school near where I now live. 5-8 year olds in one class, and 9-15 year olds in the other.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • SueW October 21, 2020 / 6:09 am

        We lived in the gardeners cottage and someone had put the toilet in the corner of a bedroom! We moved when I was seven and gained a proper bathroom!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Drews October 26, 2020 / 3:15 pm

        Now that is a bit of a weird concept to get my head around. But I am betting that that was rather quite a common condition. Thank you ladies for stopping by. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SueW October 26, 2020 / 3:31 pm

        It was very common, Dan. Things began to change after the war in the UK when housing estates were built that provided homes with bathrooms.

        Nana’s toilet that was up the street from her tiny house was in a stone building that housed four toilet cubicles for the residents of the small street. I was very young but I remember it well. The toilets were shared by the residents of the street. Nana’s house was demolished in the late fifties along with other streets in the area that were regarded as slum housing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Drews October 26, 2020 / 3:06 pm

      As youngsters we did, it seems, just about everything without minding. Now, I am finding out, some of us a not happy unless we have something to grouse about, at least, while we still can. Thanks for dropping by. Stay safe. cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • margaret21 October 27, 2020 / 12:59 am

        Well, we routinely talk about Grumpy Old Men here (and Women).


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