I received a request from a grandson to send photos of something I used when I was a child. Specifically he wanted pictures and more information on the enamel containers that held arrangements of silk flowers at my house. Anything for the grandkids, right? So I pulled out the flowers and dusted off the containers and sent along photos and this information gathered from the internet and personal experience.
A chamber pot is a small pot, usually ceramic, designed to fit under a bed or in a discreet closed stool. Chamber pots are not as widely used as they once were, having largely been replaced by indoor toilets. However, in the era when going to the bathroom involved a trek to the outdoors, people who needed to go to the bathroom at night would use the chamber pot to urinate, and empty it in the morning. In homes which had a household staff, a maid would empty the chamber pots as part of her morning chores.
The basic design of a chamber pot involves a pot deep enough to hold urine without splashing, and a secure lid. Usually, a chamber pot has handles so that it can be carried easily.
A common place for a chamber pot is under the bed, as it is a convenient and ready location. Another name for chamber pot or potty was “gozunder,” probably because it “goes under” the bed. Larger gallon size chamber pots were often called “thunder mugs.”
chamber pots from the night before would be emptied and scrubbed before being replaced in the bedrooms. Commonly, chamber pots would have been emptied into the privy, but some households simply threw the contents out the window, to the peril of anyone below. This practice came to be frowned upon, because it fouled the streets.
Someone else's story: A sweet young woman found one of the large "thunder mugs" complete with lid at a second hand store. She bought it, took it home and shined it up. She wasn't sure of its original use, but it was just the right size to hold the chili she was taking to church social. For some reason the older people in the congregation couldn't bring themselves to try her cooking.