Anonymous
Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 month ago

Did outhouses really exist?

How would that work? Wouldn't that have caused disease or been unhygienic, smelled, unsafe (no seat)

9 Answers

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  • Fred
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes they really exist!

    I was fortunate not to grow up with one.  Many of my rural neighbors had an outhouse.

    When I was in my early 20's I lived 2 years rurally with one.  It wasn't that bad except in foul weather or when the temperatures dove below freezing.

    My most unsavory memory is one with a hand sawed hole in unpainted wood. Why that foul memory is so deeply etched in is a mystery to me? Some come equipped with modern hinged seats and lids that would fit on standard toilets. 

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  • JASON
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    In Victorian times houses either side of the terrace would share the outside toilet at the end of the street. My ex's granddad had one at the end of the garden about twenty years ago, though he didn't use it.

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  • oikoσ
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Of course they existed and still do. If you have been to a large outdoor event (not held in a structure), you might have seen a line of them, such as Port-a-potties. In Yemen, there are still a few "long drops", which are essentially indoor outhouses. Sort of like the Clivus Multrum, a modern waterless toilet. You can still see a line of urea crystals down the sides of some old buildings. Feces dropped straight down but urine was directed outside to run down the side. Alas, most of them have been replaced with water-wasting flush toilets.

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  • 1 month ago

    Use one every day. 1) dig a hole 2) erect a "building" over it WITH A SEAT with a hole in the middle directly over hole in the ground 3) enjoy. Don't go playing in the hole and you won't get any diseases. Don't eat out of it and it won't be unhygienic. It's got a seat.

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  • 1 month ago

    and we used a sears catalog pages to wipe our butts

    • skeptik
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      And the OP doesn't know what THAT is, either.

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  • 1 month ago

    How times have changed.  Yes, of course they existed.  What do you think people did before they had running water?  I started school in a one-room school house with no running water.  We had a two seat outhouse.  Yes, it did smell.  If you wanted a drink of water, you went to the water bucket and used the ladle.  A few farm families still had outhouses when I was young.  Many cabins and lake houses don't have running water today and require an outhouse.

    Despite the primitive start to my education, I went on to get an advanced degree in chemistry and work in the pharmaceutical industry most of my career.

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  • 1 month ago

    They still exist.

    See that small shed-like structure on the right?  That's an outhouse.

    And yes, they certainly can smell.  Which is why it's as far away as it is.

    Also, outhouses are MORE hygienic than pretty much any alternative that doesn't involve running water.  And yes, they have seats.  I have no idea why you would think they don't.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    they could have existed. but the real question is there really any country other than the U.S I've never been to them so they are probably just fake or something

    • Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      What do you think people did before indoor plumbing ? For centuries ?

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  • 1 month ago

    Yes, outhouses existed. They were generally found on farms, large tracts of land, so that neighbors weren't affected. People were intelligent enough to locate them away from sources of water. Nature quickly broke down bodily waste into organic compounds that became part of the soil. It was a fairly hygienic practice.

    It was far from hygienic in towns and cities and there were very unsanitary conditions and disease. There was no land for enough outhouses to serve everyone. There may have been communal outhouses in some places, but not enough of them. Walk into practically any antique shop in, at least, the eastern part of the US, where there were many towns and cities before there was running water and a system of sewers. You will see the china/porcelain 'chamber pots' that people used to relieve themselves. You might see them in Europe, too. Waste was buried where possible, but it was common for people to open the windows during the night, or first thing in the morning, and simply fling the contents into the streets and gutters.

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