The Evolution of the Portable Toilet

From construction sites, to road works, to project rebuilds and temporary classrooms, all of these places require toilets; now as many of these situations are temporary it would be a complete waste of money to plumb in a brand new block of toilets for only a small amount of time. So it’s a good job that portable toilets were invented, wouldn’t you agree? But where did the idea come actually come from and which genius invented it?

Well, as we’re suppliers of toilet units in London that’s what we’re going to have a look at; the fascinating history of the portable toilet!


America 1940’s

The portable toilet industry began during the early 1940’s in California, America. Because ship building was a huge industry in this part of America at the time, it became apparent that vast amounts of time (so therefore, money!) was being lost as ship workers had to make a long walk back to the docks for a toilet break.

A toilet was then created to be placed on a ship after the issue was raised by a ship worker. A special wooden cabana was designed and created; it contained a small holding tank – becoming the world’s first portable working toilet!

Design & Development

The idea spread like wild fire, and began to be used at events, on construction sites, etc etc. Of course, the initial design wasn’t without flaws, as at first they were made primarily of wood and metal – which was incredibly hard to transport; plus odours were absorbed which didn’t make for a very pleasant experience. During the 1970’s they were made of fibreglass – but this material proved to be too brittle and hard to maintain. Fortunately design moved on and polyethylene portable toilets were created – which are still used today.

Toilet Units

Today, you aren’t just limited to small porta-loos but you can take advantage of fully flushing toilet units that look and feel just like permanent toilet blocks. They are certainly a handy addition to have at leisure events or for work requirements!

At Flintham Cabins we provide an excellent range of steel containers in London which can be used for a variety of applications; if you would like more information about any of our products then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

Call us on 020 8459 6972 or 020 8459 3114 for further information.

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