March 13 Indoor Plumbing
We had family visiting this weekend and today was such a gorgeous day that we decided to head out to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. It’s an impressive estate filled with history of the Washington family and the country.
As we took our tour, we kept coming back to one thing we spoiled 21st-Century folk adore: indoor plumbing.
We read about the “necessary,” aka “privy,” aka outhouse. Your, um, waste went into wooden drawers, which were periodically emptied into the nearby gardens as fertilizer. And as for washing up in the mornings? You might have a bowl of water on your dressing table. Baths were uncommon to say the least.
All of this was true for the owners of a huge estate worked by a small army of slaves. Life for the less grandiose household was even worse.
Nowadays you don’t have to be the founder of a nation to enjoy sanitation. Life is good.