Taking the Pissoir.

Another Melbourne#castiron #pissoir, one of 8 left, this one outside the Royal Artillery Hotel #SouthCarlton (now the #LastJar) and quite unchanged, still with the entries facing the gutter, and the cresting intact. It was quite smelly inside ! They all date from 1903-18. The idea started in Paris in the 1830s, they eventually had like 1230, now there’s only 1 historic one left 😮.  Here’s a nice long article about them, they were generally called ‘vespasienne’, not pissoir, which seems to be English from the latin ? Though the French also use ‘pissotiere’.   I’ve updated the Wikipedia Pissoir article if you want to know more.

Ours look to be perhaps directly inspired by this #Edwardian era UK example in Bristol, very similar pattern, which is very Islamic actually. It was produced by the #SaracenFoundry in Glasgow, which also did a more Arts&Crafts design that was copied for the only one left in Sydney, a lovely curved one under the bridge in the Rocks. Ive also learned that the 1878 Berlin ones were great too, there’s a dozen left, they’re called #CafeAchteck (Octagonal Cafe), and that these are all far more concerned with privacy than the Amsterdam ones (#plaskrul ‘pee curl’), 35 left, check them out ! And the sometimes hilarious Paris ones.

Melbourne

Bristol

Sydney
Berlin
Amsterdam

Paris

Repost 2018:

If you’ve never seen inside one of 8 surviving #CastIronUrinals, here you go – they were made between 1903 and 1918, when more than 40 were put up. Cast by C. Monteath & Sons of South Melbourne, composed of interlocking Moorish patterned panels and vertical posts, with spiky cresting. This one is a two stall size, the most typical with early but not original #terracotta stalls. They were plumbed into the then quite new sewerage system but the doors open to the gutter, perhaps for modesty’s sake, but you have to step onto the road to get in ! The #NationalTrustVic classified then in the 90s when the Council’s toilet department was trying to get rid of them, and a couple got moved or lost before we got them on the #VictorianHeritageRegister. One they said they would re-erect after they removed from the median of Lonsdale near King Street, but that never happened, wonder if the bits still around ? 2021: decided to look at the UK to see if that might have been an inspiration and sure enough there’s a few left made by Macfarlane, Scotland, with a lovely (much nicer) Moorish pattern. The pictured example is at the Museum of Welsh Life, Cardiff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.