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The History of Port a Johns

January 28, 2013

The big blue or green colored boxes seen at building sites, outside concerts are a best friend to fans and workers. These inventions are used at places where regular plumbing is not available or accessibility to a restroom is not possible. They are known as Port-a-Johns, Port-a-Potties, or portable toilets. One fact of interest about this product is that 5,000 were in use at the inauguration of  President Obama in 2009. The history of the Port-a-John starts during World War II.

1940s
Leaders at shipyards in Long Beach discovered that work time was lost when workers had to trek back to bathrooms on the dock. They made a decision to build a temporary restroom facility for the workers on the ships being built. The idea was to make the workers happy and gain increased work speed. This first Port-a-John was a cabana made from wood with an attached holding tank.

1950s and 1960s
The construction industry realized the benefit of a portable toilet in the 1950s. Many companies built a version of a portable restroom facility. The 1960s saw event organizers being to use portable restrooms at outside concerts, rallies, and other events. Two prominent manufactures of portable toilets were Biff and Job Johnny. Port-a-John units at this time were made from wood and metal. The units were often a heavy contraption and smelly, but were better than having nothing.

1970s and 1980s
This decade saw the construction of the Port-a-John switch to fiberglass from metal and wood. The use of fiberglass made each unit much lighter and easier to transport. Fiberglass is a product easier to clean than previous products. The 1980s saw the switch from fiberglass Port-a-Johns to plastics as a material of choice for construction. Plastic was cheaper and easier to form than fiberglass. Plastic is easy for the owners of Port-a-Johns to keep clean and reuse.

Present Day
The use of a Port-a-John has saved over 125 million gallons of water a day.

If you are in need of portable toilets for your upcoming event in the Taylor, TX area? Call Honeybucket today at  (512) 309-4609  for reliable products and services you can depend on  for your social event or construction site.