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Pittsburgh toilet

File:Pittsburgh toilet.jpg
A Pittsburgh toilet.

A Pittsburgh toilet is a common fixture in pre-World War II houses built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It consists of a toilet in the basement of the house with no surrounding walls. As Pittsburgh was historically an industrial town, which is still called "The Steel City" today, the purpose of this toilet was for workers in the steel or mining industries to cleanse themselves immediately upon entering their home.[1][2][3] To serve this purpose, most of these toilets are paired with a crude basement shower apparatus and large sink, which often doubles as a laundry basin. Also, because western Pennsylvania is a steep topographical zone, many basements have their own entryway, allowing homeowners to enter from their yard or garage, cleanse themselves promptly in their basement, and then ascend their basement stairs refreshed.[citation needed]


  1. Kirkland, Kevin (May 22, 2004). "Homes & real estate: For house hunters, old and new homes each have their advantages". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 28, 2012. transplants [to Pittsburgh] to the area might be pleasantly surprised by a few aspects of Pittsburgh housing stock. No, we're not talking about the Pittsburgh toilet, the ubiquitous basement fixture that harkens back to the heyday of the steel mills and coal mines. Not usually a big selling point, it nevertheless provides a good starting point for a basement powder room. 
  2. Billingsly, Sarah (September 24, 2003). "Eclectic Pittsburgh Architecture reflects Industrial Influence". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. EG-6. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  3. "‘You Wanted To Know’: Pittsburgh Potty Origins". KDKA-TV. September 17, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 

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