Outhouses (1)
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While outhouses are one of the humbler elements of our sanitation systems, they have received a surprising amount of design attention and even public affection. They were actually a considerable advance over many older disposal methods in the United States (open trenches, cesspits), and the U.S. government actively encouraged their use in rural areas in the 1930s and 40s.

Outhouses remaining from older times are the subject of photography books and posters, while new outhouses are constructed for parades and competitions. The outhouse seems to have an enduring place in the public imagination.

   


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Historic outhouses
Plans for General Israel Putnam's privy, Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut. The outhouse was built in 1776 by Israel Putnam. Note on sheet 2: "It was in the field to the west and south of this building that Gen. Putnam was plowing when he was summoned to come to Massachusetts and join the patriot forces in the Revolution." The outhouse was overturned in the hurricane of 1938 (see below). These plans were drawn in 1940 by the Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service. Sheet 1 of 2.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, CONN,8-BROOK,2-.

Plans for General Israel Putnam's privy, Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut. The outhouse was built in 1776 by Israel Putnam. Note on the sheet: "It was in the field to the west and south of this building that Gen. Putnam was plowing when he was summoned to come to Massachusetts and join the patriot forces in the Revolution." The outhouse was overturned in the hurricane of 1938 (see below). These plans were drawn in 1940 by the Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service. Sheet 2 of 2.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, CONN,8-BROOK,2-.

Ruin of General Israel Putnam's privy, Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut. The outhouse was built in 1776 by Israel Putnam, and was overturned in the hurricane of 1938. Photograph by Stanley P. Mixon. Photo date May 16, 1940.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, CONN,8-BROOK,2-.

Plans for outhouse for the June Residence, North Salem, Westchester County, New York. The outhouse was built in 1846. These plans were drawn in 1936 by the Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service. Cover sheet.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, NY,60-SALN,1- & 1A-.

Plans for outhouse for the June Residence, North Salem, Westchester County, New York. The outhouse was built in 1846. These plans were drawn in 1936 by the Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service. Sheet 1 of 2.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, NY,60-SALN,1- & 1A-.

Plans for outhouse for the June Residence, North Salem, Westchester County, New York. The outhouse was built in 1846. These plans were drawn in 1936 by the Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service. Sheet 2 of 2.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, NY,60-SALN,1- & 1A-.

Outhouse for the June Residence, North Salem, Westchester County, New York. The outhouse was built in 1846.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, NY,60-SALN,1- & 1A-.

Unusual privy constructed circa 1847 in Monterey, New Castle County, Delaware. Photo date after 1933.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, DEL,2-MCDO.V,1-B-.

Plans for renovation of Custis-Maupin Necessary House, 200 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg, Williamsburg County, Virginia. The necessary house was one of the original 88 buildings in colonial Williamsburg. It dates from the late 18th - early 19th century, and was renovated in 1928 and 1980. These plans were drawn in 1980 for the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Sheet 1 of 2.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, VA,48-WIL,63-.

Plans for renovation of Custis-Maupin Necessary House, 200 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg, Williamsburg County, Virginia. The necessary house was one of the original 88 buildings in colonial Williamsburg. It dates from the late 18th - early 19th century, and was renovated in 1928 and 1980. These plans were drawn in 1980 for the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Sheet 2 of 2.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, VA,48-WIL,63-.

   


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