Who Invented the Porta Potty?

If you’re wondering who invented the porta potty, the answer might be more complicated than you’d imagine. A man named George Harding is credited with inventing the porta potty as we know it today. However, the concept has likely been around since at least the 1400 B.C. and oddly enough, it hasn’t changed too much since then. Find out more…

The Origins

Obviously, indoor plumbing has not existed forever. In fact, it’s a relatively new invention when you look at the scope of human history. In the earliest days of doing your business indoors people used chamber pots in their bedrooms. Then, castles came into vogue. These stunning structures had private rooms for using chamber pots. But the pots and their usage methodology didn’t change.

The Romans redesigned “bathrooms.” They gathered people into large houses where they would sit and do their business altogether while the waste simply dropped down inside and sat there. The Egyptians made the process a bit more pleasant by basically placing a chamber pot beneath a wooden chair with a hole in it. This is typically regarded as “the first porta potty.” It very much resembled today’s porta potty structure because the pot and chair were portable. If you use this definition, the Egyptian civilization was the original inventor of the porta potty.

The Inventor

George Harding is who invented the porta potty according to US patent records. In the 1960s he was granted a patent for a rigid plastic porta potty. That potty was then introduced to the market a decade later. These plastic porta potties replaced metal and wooden varieties that were regularly used on shipyards during WWII. In these environments large crews of workers used these while assembling ship components over long work shifts. Harding’s new units were much lighter, making them easier to transport and service. They also resisted odors far better than earlier wooden and metal units that allowed smells to linger. By the 1980s polyurethane units had become standard in the industry, and in no time at all luxury restroom trailers were on the scene, offering people an upscale, refined version of the portable restroom.

The Evolution

Since George Harding patented the porta potty the design has remained relatively unchanged. Their simple practicality leaves little left to design. Standard portable toilet units are intuitive and easy to use as well as easy for portable toilet suppliers to service. Better placement on-site typically solves any weaknesses (like vulnerability in high winds). There’s just simply not much left to engineer in the world of the humble porta potty. And, for people who are looking for a little more sophistication? Well, luxury portable toilets provide the kind of fanciness they desire without needing to rethink the traditional portable toilet concept.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!