American Revolutionary Toilets
You can visit Benjamin Franklin's home in
and see his brick-lined toilet pit.
A nearby sign explains:
This brick-lined, circular "necessary" (privy) pit was probably built when Franklin expanded his house in 1786-1787. A stone drain connecting to a vertical brick pipe conveyed waste into the pit either from Franklin's "water closet", "bathing room", or "run-off" from the sunken areaway outside the cellar kitchen. This is a remnant of areaway foundation retaining wall. Vertical brick pipe. [all those calling out areas on a floor plan]
"... [Dr. Franklin] is obliged to use the warm bath every day to ease the pain of the gallstone. His bathing vessel is said to be a curiosity; it is copper, in the form of a slipper; he sits in the heel and his legs go under the vamp, on the instep he has a place to fix his book, and here he sits and enjoys himself ..." Rev. Belknap to Rev. Manasseh Cutler, Nov 18, 1785
Elsewhere on the same property you find another privy pit and a nearby water well.
While Benjamin Franklin was clearly a genius in some areas, the very close spacing of a drinking water well and privy pit on his property makes you wonder what he was thinking...