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W.Va. museum examines early plumbing

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 09:34 AM

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A new exhibit in Parkersburg takes a look at the origins of a modern convenience: indoor plumbing.

The unusual show opened this month at the Blennerhassett Island Museum of Regional History. It’s called “Behind Closed Doors — American Bathrooms Through the Ages.”

The Charleston Gazette says the exhibit features chamber pots, bedpans and early flush commodes and other pre-bathroom items before the arrival of indoor plumbing.

The museum’s historian, Ray Swick, said a few decades ago such an exhibit might have been considered in poor taste. He says most folks have since “loosened their corsets” a bit.

Among the exhibits is a “close stool.” It’s a box-enclosed sit-on-top chamber pot used in the Parkersburg home of Arthur Ingram Boreman, West Virginia’s first governor.

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