The History of Porta Potties


The History of Porta Potties

These days, porta potties are a given. We see them everywhere and tend to take them for granted. However, portable restrooms were not always so omnipresent. In fact, the modern porta potty is a relatively new invention.

Below, we’re going to discuss the history of the porta potties, starting in ancient Greece, and working our way forward to the present day.

Ancient Egyptian Porta-Potty

As far as historians know, the first ever “porta potty” was created in 14th century BC in ancient Egypt. Found in the Kha tomb, this device consisted of a wooden stool with a hole cut in it. Attached to the stool was a vase-like implement. It appears as though this device was considered a luxury.

Ancient Greek Chamber Pots

The first commonly-used portable “restroom” was created in the 6th century BC by the ancient Greeks. Known as a chamber pot, this device was essentially a small pot into which the user would relieve him or herself.

Chamber pots were primarily used during the middle of the night. Made out of stone, tin and a variety of other materials, they were as rudimentary as it gets.

The 20th Century

While devices had been invented that allowed human beings to relieve themselves on the go, the modern porta potty was not invented until the middle of the 20th century. We’ll get into the specifics below.

1940 – 1960

The first modern porta potty saw its birth in the town of Long Beach, California in the 1940s. A dock loading supervisor created this porta potty in an effort to improve efficiency on his work crew. By having the porta potty located on ship, he was able to prevent workers from walking all the way to shore to use the restroom.

The original porta potty consisted of wood panels and a metal storage tank. It was fairly rudimentary, but it got the job done.

After its invention, many other industries started utilizing porta potties, placing them in construction sites and other remote work areas. Like the original porta potty, these porta potties were made out of wood.

1960 – 1980

Gradually, from the 1960s to the 1980s, more and more companies began to make porta potties out of fiberglass. Fiberglass was a much lighter material than wood, and could be transported much more easily.

1980 – 2000

In the 1980s, porta potty manufacturers updated their materials again, opting for plastic instead of fiberglass. Again, this was done because plastic was lighter than fiberglass, and could be more easily transported. The type of plastic that was used is called polyethylene, which is a plastic that is still used to make many porta potties today.

The Porta Potty Today

Today, porta potties are much more sophisticated. There are a variety of different types of portable restrooms available — some of which are almost as rudimentary as the original porta potties of the 1940s, and some of which are almost equal to permanently established bathrooms. These porta potties are made out of plastic as well as metal.

Some of the amenities you might see in today’s porta potties include air conditioning, heating, sinks, running water, lighting, countertops and vinyl flooring. Porta potties are no longer just cramped entities in which you do your business. Today, they are fully-functional restrooms.

Looking for Porta Potties in Chicago?

Are you in need of porta potties in Chicago? Looking for a reputable porta potty rental company? Lakeshore Recycling Systems is the company for you.

We provide all types of portable restrooms, from standard restrooms, to ADA-compliant restrooms, to deluxe restrooms, to executive restrooms. Whatever your porta potty needs may be, we can accommodate them.

Get started with your restroom rentals by contacting us today!

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