SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bucket Seat: 1898

Bucket Seat: 1898

Circa 1898. "Dr. Beall 'old fashioned toilet seat'." No. 2 (so to speak) in a series. 5x7 glass negative from the C.M. Bell portrait studio in Washington. View full size.

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That's Just Potty!

What a definitely weird contraption.

Baby's First Potty

I remember when I was younger that what my sister and I had when our parents were potty training us looked similar to that. Thankfully, as my parents love to jokingly tell us, we were quick learners. They were grateful for that diaper money going back into the budget!


Note that this is a different view of the "Dr. Beall 'old-fashioned chair" seen at , only with the chamber pot removed and the seatcover folded down. Clever man, that Beall!

The Patented Benjamin M. Beall Commode Chair

The Benjamin M. Beall Commode Chair, patent #601312, filed July 1, 1897 and granted March 29, 1898.

Thunder mug

Apparently the bucket, porcelain pot, or whatever receptacle goes under the chair has been carefully scratched out of the negative.

My grandfather, whose farmhouse didn't have indoor plumbing until the mid-sixties, referred to these vessels with a rather colorful name.

Green thumb

You just KNOW someone would make that into a planter today

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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