Life Before Indoor Plumbing

By | January 14, 2019

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Castle Hill Mansion on The Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA. A 59-room Stuart-style mansion designed by architect David Adler circa 1928. Source: (Jumping Rocks/UIG via Getty Images)

When we need to use the facilities, we don’t have to think about it. We find the nearest bathroom and take care of business. What was it like before indoor plumbing came along?

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Old wood bucket. Source: (

How Did They Get the Water Inside the Home?

Getting water into the house wasn’t as simple as turning on a faucet. It had to be hauled in by hand. Usually, a child or the women of the household had to bring it in as part of their daily chores. Sometimes the water source would be a well dug relatively close to the home, but some people had to walk quite a long way to a creek, river, or public well to fetch water. Several trips would have to be made to bring in enough water for the family to bathe, cook, drink, and clean.