The adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention” was never more appropriate than for the emergence of the porta potty concept that originated during the 1940’s in Long Beach, California. A particularly insightful shipyard worker realized the lost time produced by workers having to walk to the docks each time they felt the need. As a result, temporary relief facilities were assembled on the ships that were, themselves, under construction. Granted, this was a take-off of outhouses that were historically used in rural areas, but the idea of actual portable potties quickly morphed into a quickly-expanding industry that grew like a mushroom field.
Perfection In The Making:
The first few decades were a trial run for these rooms of necessity when it came to the construction materials. Initially, porta potties were constructed of wood and metal; but after almost 30 years of dealing with the cumbersomeness and heaviness of the wood and metal, as well as unsanitary debris absorption and odor retention of the wood, more practical materials became common place—fiberglass and plastic.
Fiberglass became the material of choice in the 1970’s, but due to the brittleness of fiberglass and its ability to absorb odors, issues continued. Then, as the 1980’s emerged, plastic gained the number one spot as a construction material due to its light weight, its ability to be very easily cleaned, and its non-porous/non-absorbing nature. Plastic remains the most practical material for portable toilets today.
From ‘Porta Potty’ To ‘Posh Potty’
Oh, how things have changed! Standard porta potty units continue to serve a never-ending need at construction sites and a variety of outdoor events, but the degree to which comfort and convenience have infiltrated the portable toilet industry is nothing short of amazing. Here are a few examples:
—Porta Potties With Flushable Toilets:
These little beauties boast of a hand-washing sink complete with paper towel and soap dispensers. A flushing toilet and urinal are available with ventilation system and mirrors. Many of these designs come with a baby-changing station, as well.
—Porta Potties For Handicapped:
These convenient commodes offer handrails attached to three of the four walls. Other niceties include a pneumatic door closure, ventilation system, flushable toilet and hand sanitizer unit. The near-ground- level access makes wheelchair maneuverability far less challenging.
—Porta Potties For High-rise Construction:
For those brave souls who find themselves much higher than most of us during the day, this portable facility is a welcome sight and comes with a urinal, hand sanitizer, and standard toilet. A lift kit can attach to any standard crane, and the facility can lift to any desired height.
—Porta Potties With Ambiance:
Going all out is sometimes worth the expense. Portable toilets with all the amenities could make anyone proud. Luxury restroom trailers provide niceties such as authentic tile floors, air-conditioning, ceramic flushing toilets and urinals, vanities with sinks and solid surface countertops and mirror, skylights, and wall sconces.
—Porta Potties With Ambiance Plus:
These lovely restrooms will make you feel pampered. Features include simulated marble walls, wood laminated flooring, area rugs, porcelain sinks and wood doors. Water isn’t just cold, but hot water is available as well, not to mention a warm air-conditioning system for winter months and cool air-conditioning for summer months. Indirect lighting adds a warm glow while you listen to music from the surround-sound stereo system.
Fun fact: The record number of porta potties assembled for one, single world event occurred in 2009. Five thousand of these little lovlies were put in place for the convenience of the attendees of the presidential inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Ms. Carlson loves to write in her free time from her midwest home. She writes on a lot of topics including dallas restroom trailers.