Originally featured in Points West magazine in Spring 2019
Irma Hotel Chamber Pot
In the days before indoor plumbing, that thirty-yard dash through the inky dark to the outhouse to relieve oneself in the middle of the night was reason enough to avoid any drinks after 6 p.m. And the cold, hard wooden seat with the cavernous black hole underneath only added to the ordeal.
To remedy the situation, families began to use chamber pots, like this enamel one that was used at Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel around 1910. At the time, the bedroom was called the “chamber”; hence the name for this contrivance. The individual places the pot alongside the bed to answer nature’s call during the night, and the nighttime jaunt to the outhouse becomes a thing of the past.
White porcelain chamber pot. 1.69.299