Have you ever wondered how portable restrooms became a thing? Practically speaking, not a lot of people must have given it much thought. However, it is certainly interesting to look at the history and evolution of portable restrooms over the years.
The Invention of Portable Restrooms
Believe it or not, portable restrooms have been around for longer that you may expect. To be exact, the industry began back in 1940 at the shipyards of California. The workers there on the ships had to walk a long distance back to the dock area when they needed to use a bathroom. Not only was this inconvenient for the workers, but also resulted in significant loss of time on the job, causing them to run behind on the projects.
This encouraged the ship builders to collaborate with the builders of the dock restroom and design a temporary unit on the ships that would be portable. This way, it would be much closer to the worker and they won’t have to waste any time to use the bathroom.
However, this unit was nothing like the restrooms you see today. In fact, it was a small wooden structure built with a small holding tank. Yet, it was the very first concept of portable restrooms to come into existence.
The concept soon started spreading to construction industry and to event organizers where large crowds were expected. The portable restrooms that were invented now were made using wood and metal for a sturdier structure. The problem was that these were extremely heavy to move, absorbed the odors, and were almost impossible to keep clean.
It wasn’t until the mid-1970s when polyethylene became a popular material for portable restrooms, and the units we are familiar with now came into being. While there were still certain improvements required, portable restrooms had taken proper shape by that time.