The Royal History of the Porta Potty You Never Knew

Fast Porta Potty Facts

Who Officially Invented the Porta Potty?

The first U.S. patent for a porta potty was issued to George Harding, who co-founded PolyJohn Corporation, although other portable toilets did exist before this time. Harding's patent described a porta potty design using plastic, which was just becoming a popular material for various manufacturing uses.

When Were Porta Potties Invented?

George Harding of PolyJohn Corporation was issued his patent in 1964, though the porta potty epidemic first came across to the U.S. around the 1940s. Shipyard crews needed a convenient place to use the restroom. So, instead of going back and forth from the ship to the dock, a manager used a wooden cabana to hold tanks in place.

Let’s now go back in time to uncover a few bits of royal history regarding the porta potty that you probably never knew.

Why Portable Bathrooms Are Called “Throne” Rooms

The can, commode, little girls' or boys' room, lavatory oval office, porcelain throne, water closet, or simply the “throne”—we all know them as restrooms. However, they got their start with a well-known British nobleman named Sir John Harrington. He invented the first flushing toilet back in 1596. This nobleman paved the way for our portable “john” toilets to be born. Once the original portable thrones were invented, they weren’t a sight for sore eyes. They too were as ugly as the current unattended blue boxes you find in the parks. However, members of the royal family saw fit to be seated on a more upscale porta potty. The presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I wouldn’t dare be caught bare on such monstrosities. So, she had them transformed into beautiful, comfortable facilities, fit with velvet padded seat coverings. So, there you have it: the portable “throne.”

Luxury Porta Potties Fit for the President

Here in the United States, our presidential staff was accustomed to the finer things in life, too. President Obama’s 2009 inauguration had people worldwide come to see the monumental event. There was an order of 7,000 porta potties, the largest order placed for an event in U.S. history. President George W. Bush also wanted to travel and have only the best. It is said that he actually had his own porta potty on his trip to Vienna. And, even more shocking, all the contents were shipped right back to the States via Air Force One—the mystery of what was done with them remains unknown.

Even His Holiness Required a Massive Number of Thrones

When Pope Benedict XVI visited Munich, Germany, His Holiness had an enormous number of pilgrims coming to see his open-air Mass that required over 8,000 porta potties on site. Later, Valencia was out over 2 million euros to accommodate the crowd with porta potties.

Grab Your Smartphone to Find a Porta Potty!

Another interesting aspect of the 2013 inauguration was that the Planning Committee wanted to ensure all witnesses of the swearing-in ceremony were comfortable. So, they organized with the National Park Service an inauguration ceremony iPhone and Android app that not only directed visitors to their seats and provided live stream video of the events but also directed them to the nearest porta potty. Of course, Don's Johns was there for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony!

Are you in need of portable restrooms for a project or event in the DMV area? We can help you get started today. Our seasoned staff can help you choose exactly the right portable toilets for your needs and budget. Give us a call at (703) 273-7100. You can also contact us online for a free quote

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