Above photo shows the some collection of sanitaryware or hygieneware in the plain USN monogram at The Piates Lair. Two waste water slop jars, a wash basin, a sink with plumbing fixture, various soap dishes and water tumblers. Note the soap dish attached to the wall using the wire wall mount.
To the left is a late 19th Century and early 20th Century Amphora-like Clean Water Pitcher used in Captains Cabin and Officer's Staterooms or Berthing areas. This amphora-like clean water pitcher sits in a circular steel floor or deck mounted swivel for ease of use and to prevent spillage during high seas and rough weather conditions.
The Pirate's Lair has the exact same U.S.N. matching pieces in white porcelain soap dishes, sinks, clean water washbasins, water tumblers and slop jars which were used aboard ship in the 1860's to the 1880s and possibly even into the early 1900's.
The Photograph above right illustrates the Water Pitcher and Water Basin being (very far left in photo) as used in the Captain's Quarters Aboard the USS Texas Ca 1907.
Above photo shows an officers stateroom aboard the USS Kentucky ca-1898 where the hygieneware of porcelain amphora-like water pitchers, large slop buckets, soap dishes, glass water goblets and carafes are clearly shown to the left in the photo. Note the steel circular holding rings for the jars and wall bracket used for the soap dish.
Again, very similar arrangement of slop jars, sinks, soap dishes as found in the period photograph of the Captains Cabin aboard the USS Texas. This establishes a standardization of sorts on how the bathrooms or "heads" of staterooms were outfitted and organzied.
Below you will find a photograph of the restored stateroom of the Ironclad USS Monitor in which a washbasin is shown just like the one here on the USS Texas and what The Pirate's Lair has in its collection. Additionally the water basin or sink, slop jar, and clean water pitcher are placed in round circular steel rings attached to the wall or bulkhead.
Soap dishes with brackets, sinks and basins, water tumblers with brackets, glass carafes, slop jars, and amphora clean water pitchers can all be purchased here at The Pirates Lair.
Click Here For US Navy 100+ Year Old Antique Porcelain Water Basins and Sinks
Click Here For US Navy 100+ Year Old Antique Porcelain Soap Dishes
Click Here For US Navy 100+ Year Old Antique Glass Water Carafes
Click Here For US Navy 100+ Year Old Antique Porcelain Water Tumblers
Click Here For US Navy 100+ Year Old Antique Floor Mounted Fresh Water Pitchers and Slop Jars
Above is a 100+ Year old Water Carafe with the monogram USN. Note that this is the exact same model/type of carafe as found in the above photograph of the USS Kentucky!
The above photographs illustrate a "waste water slop jar" which was used in an officers stateroom for personal hygiene prior to the advent of indoor plumbing aboard US Navy ships. This is a matching piece to the water pitcher, sink and basin, water tumbler, and soap dish also found on this page. Note the porcelain ring around the pot (similar to the water pitcher) which allowed it to be placed in a metal ring that would be attached to the deck of the ship. A waste water slop jar is available for purchase and can be found byClicking Here - US Navy Civil War Soap Box.
The photo to left consists of a collection of personal hygiene porcelain items (called sanitaryware or hygieneware) circa 1860's to very late 1880's consisting of a water washbasin, two soap dishes with standardized univeral mounting brackets and a matching water tumbler also having a standardized metal wire mounting bracket.
The photo to the right shows the restored officer's stateroom aboard the ironclad USS Monitor of Civil War fame. Note the similarity between the washbasin used in the Monitor and the washbasin shown to the left, exactly the same! Also shown is what appears to be a metal soap box with an anchor in the lid. While this soap box may be a period piece and perhaps even found on the Monitor when she was being restored, there was also a soap box for shaving specifically made during the Civil War for the US Navy.
Both the plain and stylized USN marked soap dishes, water tumblers, sinks and wash basin, water pitchers and shaving mugs (and corresponding mounting brackets) were universally made Navy-wide so that each item could fit into a standardized universal mounting bracket no matter what ship the crew member took his personal items to during a transfer.
As can be seen all of these items including the above water pitcher all have the same U.S.N insignia on them. The producers of these personal hygiene or sanitary ware items were made by various producers including the Standard (later called American Standard) and The Trenton Potteries Company. It is believed that the hygieneware with the USN insignia were used by officers and each crew member had there own personal soap dish and water tumbler which they just placed into the mounting brackets when being used in a community bathroom or head.
Other than enamel-on-metal (enamelware or porcelainware) cups, plates and bowls with the simple USN monogram we have no evidence of any china dinnerware or tableware which consisting of the plain U.S.N. insignia on any plates, bowls or cups. This lack of finding any corresponding dinnerware leaves us with the impression that the plain USN insiginia found on the personal hygiene ware soap dishes, water tumblers, wash basins and sinks were possibly used just by junior and wardroom officers.
Obviously senior officers such as captains and admirals as shown in the above photograph had their own private bathrooms and washing areas and used this type of sanitaryware.
Above is a photo of an 1860s to 1880s wash basin with the sylized USN located on the exterior of the basin. This was produced for the navy by the "James M. Shaw & Co, New York" which was established by a German immigrant in 1838 and was the largest distributor of china dinnerware in the United States and to the US Navy. As a distributor they did not actually manufacture any of the items they sold, but had them produced for them by some of the largest and best china and porcelain companies both here in the US and abroad.
Note the backstamp of the James M. Shaw Co. which was established by a German immigrant in 1838 in New York. Unfortunately the actual manufacturer of the basin is not indicated on this piece. Most likely it was produced by either the "Standard" (later called American Standard) or "The Trenton Potteries Company".
The above photos of a Civil War Union Navy leather docking bumper used aboard small row boats illustrates the stylistic USN monogram also found on naval dinnerware and hygieneware! Also note the period photograph of a row boat from the USS Onondaga on the James River and the leather bumpers deployed along the starboard side of the boat! This relatively plain monogram has also been found on a Civil War era Turkey Platter that is in the collection here at The Pirates Lair further attesting to the age and provenance of all of the articles.
Above photos illustrate an early 1860s-1900s US Navy sink with bottom drain attachment indicating the earliest use of shipboard water. These sinks and clean running water under pressure only became practical after the Navy began introducing steam engines as the main propulsion system aboard its ships. At that time a more robust system of disposing dirty or used water became necessary as keeping this water in slop jars for later disposal over the rail became impractical.
At The Pirates Lair we have both the later used sinks with plumbing fixtures as well as the earlier basins which required clean water amphora like pitchers to draw the water from as well as the larger and rounded slop jars.
The basins and sinks looked indistinguishable except for the plumbing fixtures on the bottom of the sinks. Both the basins and the sinks were all the same size and all had the same insignia, either a plain U.S.N mongram or the more stylist USN with the letters in a florish and superimposed on each other. It is presumed that the more stylistic USN insignia were in earlier use.
Additionally, both sink and basin each had a thick roll or lip around the top edge so as to allow it to fit into a circular steel holder. This allowed for the ship to use as much existing onboard infrastructure during the transition from non-water to onboard water systems.
All of the sinks we have seen each have old cracks around where the brass plumbing drain fixtures fit onto the sink. These cracks did not leak on any of the sinks we have tested, and they have all appeared to be long-time stress cracks created when the plumbing drain was tightly screwed onto the sink. An operational or implementation defect for sure.
Here is part of the US Navy antique sanitaryware and hygieneware collection at The Pirates Lair. Note the two documented and distinct USN monograms: blocked or plain and the stylized version.
Through this collection we have established a regulation set of hygieneware found in an officers cabin consisted of a porcelain wash basin, a water tumbler, a shaving dish, a clean water amphora-like pitcher with handle, and a slop jar without a handle. And through period photos it was shown that all of these pieces rested in metal holders secured to the bulkhead or deck of the ship.
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