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Baby's potty

Baby's potty

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1920-29 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Copeland & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed earthenware

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Stella Randall

  • Museum number:

    MISC.466-1992

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This child's plain white earthenware potty from the 1920s is a small version of the adult chamber pot still in use in the bedrooms of some UK households until the 1970s (although by the 1950s these were considered increasingly old fashioned). Ideas to make a potty more fun for a child to use began to emerge in the 1920s with designs like the 'Little Buffer' where the pot could be enclosed in a low chair on wheels. The widespread use of coloured plastics for potties from the 1940s onward led to more imaginative treatments of form, and present day ranges include models in the shape of animals and vehicles, often with sound effects.

Until modern ideas about their food developed in the 1920s, many children had a very monotonous diet. This was high in carbohydrates and low in fresh fruit and meat, and sometimes caused constipation, which would be promptly treated with a laxative. Popular naturally occurring laxatives for children and adults were castor oil, prunes, senna and rhubarb. Chemical potions included brimstone (sulphur) mixed with treacle, and calomel, a compound of mercury and chloride.

Physical description

Potty/ chamber pot for a child: glazed white earthenware, with a moulded base and rim. The potty is circular, with curved sides, and has a looped handle.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)

Date

1920-29 (made)

Artist/maker

Copeland & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Glazed earthenware

Marks and inscriptions

COPELAND

Dimensions

Height: 8.9 cm

Object history note

Used in childhood by the donor, Miss Stella Randall, born 25/01/1921.
(RF 87/212)

Descriptive line

White glazed earthenware potty, circular in shape, with curved sides and handle; made in the UK by Copeland & Co 1920-29

Materials

Earthenware

Techniques

Moulding; Glazing

Categories

Children & Childhood

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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