The History of Portable Restrooms

No matter if you’re at a music festival or driving by a construction site, portable restrooms have become a common sight. They are so common that it may be hard to believe that the first portable restroom is only about 70 years old. So, if you need a portable restroom rental in Longview TX area or elsewhere, you are carrying on a modern tradition.

The Greatest Generation overcame huge obstacles during World War II — Hitler, Mussolini, bad food and where an army of millions should go when they were on the march. In WWII, armies did not have time to dig the usual latrine pit because, by the time they finished, they had to rush off somewhere else.

Using chemicals to help deal with human waste in a portable stall meant any branch of the armed forces were fully functional when it came to their natural functions no matter where they had to go. The first portable toilets, developed in England, were called Elsan chemical closets. They were made of wood or metal. Unsurprisingly, they were nicknamed “thunder boxes.”

With the popularity of plastics and polymers rising in the 1950s, it was inevitable that portable toilets would be made of plastic. This made the closets lighter weight and easier to clean. United Sanitation founder Harvey Heather patented the first portable restrooms in the 1950s. However, his company’s Strongbox was made of fiberglass.

As time went by, the portable toilet kept on improving. They became more lightweight so that just one person could move them off of a truck. The chemicals helped better neutralize smells. They used lighter colors so sunlight could filter through. Shapes changed to make them stack more easily on flatbed trucks. Portable restroom rental Longview TX and elsewhere have come a long way since World War II.

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