The Pittsburgh Shitter

17 Jan 2008


There's an interesting "You Had to Ask" piece in our local alternative freeby newspaper this week. The topic is "The Pittsburgh Shitter," a term that describes the local phenomenon of houses with an oddly-placed toilet in the basement, usually with no walls around it. When I moved to town and bought our house, I simply found our little basement commode weird. Now I know it's all part of a larger, uh, movement. It seems the practice began with the steel mills ... . Men would return home and wash up in the basement so they didn't track soot all over the house. That article I linked to gives the full story. Too bad it's online, as it would make great bathroom reading.

[Btw, my basement looks nothing like that now. I remodeled the whole thing. Even put a steam sauna in the old coal chute. Perhaps I'll do a write up later. Gotta run. The Jooge just dropped a load on the living room floor.]

Original Comments

Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On January 17, 2008, Evil Genius wrote:

My maternal grandparents had one, and my brother in Philly has one. I just e-mailed him the article.

On January 17, 2008, Chris wrote:

Oh no ... to quote the Beatles

"Juju ja pooh!" (ok, not exactly a quote)

On January 18, 2008, Sturdy Girl wrote:

Well, after living with three other people in a small house with one bathroom there were times when I would have killed for one of these.

Besides, I could have locked my ex in the basement more often.

On January 18, 2008, BeckEye wrote:

We had a normal toilet, but I saw many a strange bathroom configuration when I was at IUP. The best was a frat house that had a big back room with a cement floor and 2 half-walls separating the area into stalls. In each stall? A drain in the floor. It was great for the guys, but the girls had to go to the bathroom on the top floor. The one with a giant hole in the wall, so people could look in and see you on the toilet. Ah, those were the days.

On January 20, 2008, M@ wrote:

Thanks for the explanation. This would have baffled anthropologists of the future.

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