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#889429 - 23rd Jul 2014 6:17pm What was a tumbler closet?
yoller Online   content
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Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 479
Loc: Cheshire
I've been looking at some information on the old 'court' style housing in Birkenhead around the middle to late 19th century. They were mostly overcrowded, insanitary slums which had shared outside privies. Among the various privies listed for some properties are ash pits, water closets and tumbler closets. Does anyone know what a tumbler closet was?

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#889438 - 23rd Jul 2014 6:32pm Re: What was a tumbler closet? [Re: yoller]
fillbo Offline
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Registered: 26th Jul 2011
Posts: 142
Loc: wirral
Originally Posted By: yoller
I've been looking at some information on the old 'court' style housing in Birkenhead around the middle to late 19th century. They were mostly overcrowded, insanitary slums which had shared outside privies. Among the various privies listed for some properties are ash pits, water closets and tumbler closets. Does anyone know what a tumbler closet was?


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#889457 - 23rd Jul 2014 7:15pm Re: What was a tumbler closet? [Re: fillbo]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7948
Loc: tranmere
They had closets with one trough, a tank slowly filled with water, when reaching a certain level, it capsized/tumbled, releasing water in to the trough. In turn emptying the contents in to the drains. It removed the responsibility of flushing from the user. The courts and the lower order housing had closets, 3 or 4 and one trough to cater for perhaps 20 dwellings. No set amount.
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#889659 - 24th Jul 2014 8:00pm Re: What was a tumbler closet? [Re: yoller]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 479
Loc: Cheshire
Thanks for both your answers, and especially to Bert for the technical explanation. On all levels, life was pretty grim back then for the lower orders.

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