A History of Modern Portable Toilets

January 2, 2021

Looking back at its origins, it’s hard to imagine anyone ever using the original porta potty units fashioned in the 1940s. Over time, though, these bathroom systems evolved to make them easier to transport and improve their overall sanitary conditions. While they might seem similar, an original porta potty is entirely different from the modern porta potties in Chattanooga, TN that we rent out to families and businesses throughout the community.

The wartime demand for portable toilets

As countries around the globe engaged in battle, military bases sprung up all over Europe and Asia during World War II. These new, usually temporary outposts required resilient, clean and mobile toilets. Additionally, many shipbuilding yards in Long Beach, CA provided new portable toilet units for workers. Engineers also included these rugged portable toilets in bomber aircraft, much to the dismay of both ground and flight crews.

Typically made from metal or wood, these original portable toilets were hard to transport and rarely provided the sturdy, sanitary environment most users wanted when relieving themselves. Standard construction of an early portable toilet consisted of wooden panels and metal storage tanks.

A porta potty revolution

Among many cultural revolutions during the 1960s and 1970s, modern portable toilets in Chattanooga, TN took a major flush forward thanks to Harvey Heather. He designed the Strongbox, the first one-piece porta potty made from fiberglass. Heather’s transformative design made it easier to transport and clean portable toilets.

However, there were still drawbacks to the Strongbox. The solid fiberglass unit didn’t allow in any natural light, which made them seem uninviting. Also, the exterior shape didn’t fit together in any way that simplified the process of transporting multiple units simultaneously on a flatbed truck.

It wasn’t long before manufacturers opted to construct modern porta potties in Chattanooga, TN with various plastic materials. This continues to be the case today, as many still build these units with polyethylene. Interestingly enough, a man named George Harding received a patent in the 1960s for a polyethylene portable restroom. While Heather’s Strongbox was more popular for a time, plastic models like the one Harding patented became the standard in the 1980s.

Luxury restroom trailers change the game

While manufacturers continued to find ways to improve plastic portable toilets, the biggest game changer for modern porta potties in Chattanooga, TN was the luxury restroom trailer. PolyJohn Corporation, founded by George Harding, introduced an eight-stall, three-urinal, 32-foot-long trailer in 1984. This groundbreaking invention made it easy to transport multiple clean units to a single location and quickly became the most coveted product in the porta potty industry.

As a premier provider of modern portable toilets in Chattanooga, TN, Pit Stop Portables offers a wide range of units to meet the many needs of our customers. From ADA handicap-accessible portable bathrooms to our top-of-the-line luxury trailers, we’ve got it all! We work with both individuals and businesses requiring reliable, sanitary portable toilet and handwashing units for weddings, festivals, construction sites and other uses. Get in touch with us now to reserve your mobile bathroom unit.

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