The Pittsburgh Potty : Still no solid explanation
. An endangered Fixture in Pittsburgh Homes. The free standing basement toilet sometimes joined by a sink and open shower can be found in many older homes in Southwestern, Pennsylvania. This is commonly known as The Pittsburgh Potty. Many Pittsburgh Pottys have been lost to basement remodeling and In recent years attempts have been made to explain the true purpose the Pittsburgh Potty from historians, real-estate agents and even an out of state architect. The most common explanation has been that the Basement toilet was installed for steel or mine workers to come home dirty and dusty through the basement door and wash up there, before entering the main floor of the house. This was the only theory until October 11th 2017 when during an NPR WESA 90.5 radio interview, New Jersey Architect William Martin Offered a the new explanation, That The basement toilets weren’t designed for steel workers; in fact, they weren’t even meant to be used. According to Martin, they were installed at the lowest point of the system. So, as the sewer backs up, it will make itself known in the basement, because the toilet in the basement would overflow and into largely an unfinished basement.” According to NPR’s WESA, Martin studied at Carnegie Mellon University and graduated from the Pratt Institute. Our researchers were not able to confirm Martin’s explanation with other sources since he seems to be the only one bringing this explanation to light. Another less common theory was that the toilets were installed by construction workers during a time before porta pottys existed. No one seems to have a solid answer to the true purpose of the Pittsburgh Potty and as more and more basements are finished with remodeling, The Pittsburgh Potty is becoming an endangered Fixture. Do you have a Pittsburgh Potty in your home, send us a photo of your historic Pittsburgh Potty. Why do you think the Pittsburgh Potty was installed?