Candid Vintage Photographs That Show German Soldiers Using Latrines During World War I

Soldiers lived in the trenches when fighting during World War I, it was muddy, noisy and pretty basic. They didn’t have toilets so it was probably a bit stinky too.

The latrines was the name given to trench toilets. They were usually pits, 4 ft. to 5 ft. deep, dug at the end of a short sap. Each company had two sanitary personnel whose job it was to keep the latrines in good condition. In many units, officers gave out sanitary duty as a punishment for breaking army regulations. Before a change-over in the trenches, the out-going unit was supposed to fill in its latrines and dig a new one for the new arrivals. Continue reading »

Toilets Around the World, Part 2

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A domestic toilet is seen inside a house in Lalitpur, Nepal, October 8, 2015. Some 2.4 billion people around the world don’t have access to decent sanitation and more than a billion are forced to defecate in the open, risking disease and other dangers, according to the United Nations. The UN says that while there is sufficient fresh water on the planet for everyone, “bad economics and poor infrastructure” mean that every year millions of people – most of them children – die from diseases linked to poor sanitation, unhygienic living conditions and lack of clean water supplies. To mark World Toilet Day on November 19, Reuters photographers captured pictures of toilets in cities, towns and villages around the globe. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)
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Toilets Around the World

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Belgium. Rosalie, 9, goes to school in Brussels. “At my school we have separate toilets for girls and boys on every floor. My classroom is on the 3rd floor. We have 22 toilets, which are shared between 230 pupils and 20 adults. The teachers at school let us go to the toilet whenever we need to”. (Photo by Tim Dirven/WSUP/Panos)
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The New London Hot Spots? Cafés That Used to Be Public Toilets

A trip to the toilet is usually not associated with sandwiches, wine, or dates, but that’s changing in London. With real estate at a premium and the repurposing of old spaces in full effect, a trend has emerged: former public restrooms are reopening as cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. That’s right, forget the advice about not eating where people used to, um …

London has all kinds of history, and that extends to its loos. Take, for instance, WC – that’s the actual name of the former Victorian-era underground-station toilet in South London that opened in July. It now stands for wine and charcuterie.

WC, a wine bar that opened in July, is housed inside an abandoned underground toilet, with original walls intact. Much of the old décor remains, with the original floor mosaics and wall tiles, and even some of the old toilets in the restrooms (those are for display only). As Time Out London said in its review, “Down the wide stairs it still looks and feels like a Victorian convenience, albeit a sanitised one.”

WC co-founder Jayke Mangion, told AFP that “the government has been pushing the councils to use all empty places to generate revenues.”

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Photo: AFP

If you want an even bolder toilet theme, just head to The Attendant in central London, where you can sit on a stool and have a salt- beef bagel while actually facing an original 1890s urinal. The toilet cisterns have been turned into flower pots.
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