There’s an article on the Boston Herald website about the poshest sorts of toilets you can get for your own home including… a throne.
The history of toilets in private homes is primarily a story of the rise and fall of ostentatious fittings.
In the early 19th century fittings and furnishings in bathrooms were needlessly ornate – people were making bathrooms out of rooms, and had to fill that space with a lot of filigree. By about 1855, cleanliness and simplicity ruled, before there was another shift towards putting all the expense of the house into the bathroom. And why not? You’re pretty well guaranteed that your guests are going to see it. What a great place to show off!
Bathrooms remained an impressive size (for those who had bathrooms) until the revolution of ‘bath-cells’ in American hotels in the late 1800s, when bathrooms came down to a more reasonable size and utilitarian function. There seems to now be a shift again towards fabulous bathrooms, but the onus is on luxury rather than fussiness.
Toilets themselves, however, haven’t changed all that much, so it’s nice to see manufacturers doing something interesting, and even ludicrous, with the design.
Did you know?
The first bath was installed in the White House in 1851.
In 1895, no New York tenement had a bath.
The Lord Mayor of London was denied a request to install a shower-bath in the Mansion House in 1812.
~ from “Clean and Decent”, Lawrence Wright