The Roots of The Portable Potty
A Lesson in Portable Potty History
Portable Potties: the Beginning
In the 1940s, workers in the ship yards of long beach had a serious and awkward problem. Their restrooms were located in the docks, far away from the ships they were working on. Dock workers who needed to use the restroom, would have to walk, from their ship, back to the docks where the restrooms were located.
In order to eliminate the time their employees spent walking to the restroom, and to increase their employees’ comfort when working, the shipyards began making temporary bathrooms and placing them on the ships with the workers.
These first potties were nothing more than a small wooden cabana (the building housing the toilet) with a small holding tank inside. However, this simple concept was revolutionary to industries that required the ability to change sites, such as the construction industry and traveling events (such as the circus and concerts).
Portable Potties: Now More Portable
The earliest potties were made of metal and wood, which posed serious problems. First, metal and wood were extremely heavy materials and limited the portability of the potty. Second, metal and wood are extremely hard to sanitize; making early portable potties a breeding ground for germs. Consequently, beginning in the 1970s, the material used to construct portable potties began to change.
Fiberglass was the first major competitor, and was substituted for metal and wood beginning in the early 1970s. It was easier to clean and lighter, but prone to breaking and collecting an odor. Plastic replaced fiberglass starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Because it is a lightweight material that is easy to clean, plastic dominates in modern portable potty design.
Modern Portable Potties
For a variety of reasons, plastic is the industry standard material for portable potties today. The two favored plastics are Polyethylene and Polyurethane, which are favored because they are non-porous, more sanitary, lighter, and less odorous. Modern portable potties save billions of gallons of water each year; many portable potties use chemicals to encourage the breakdown of human waste and to reduce odor in between being emptied.
In place of plumbing, modern portable potties are equipped with hand-sanitizing or hand-washing stations. Ultimately, a portable potty allows for restrooms in areas that otherwise could not have them.
We’ve come a long way since the 1940’s. Call Honeybucket at (512) 309-4609 to see the latest and greatest potties in the Taylor area!