Talk:Pail closet

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Good article Pail closet has been listed as one of the Engineering and technology good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 18, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
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spelling[edit]

Riddled with spelling 'errours'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JascalX (talkcontribs) 17:26, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Such as? Parrot of Doom 17:47, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
No doubt a poor American (shouldn't that be "Amerikan"?, who doesn't realise that the correct spelling of "neighborhood" is "neighbourhood". :-) --Malleus Fatuorum 18:10, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Privy midden / midden closet article[edit]

I have just created an article for privy midden, or should it be 'Midden closet'. Any thoughts/comments. I should say that I have done a pretty broad cleanup across many articles related to sanitation and toilets over the past 48 hours to bring more consistency to the articles and link them in a more logical way. The main notable omission in Wikipedia on this subject was the lack of an article on the midden system. I am not an expert in this field, but do have an interest in dry systems and their evolution. PeterEastern (talk) 22:16, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately you've added information to the lead which isn't contained within the body of the article, which makes a bit of a mess of things, especially as one of the citations you added doesn't fill me with confidence. It also isn't necessary to remove information from one article just because it exists in another, especially when that information is used to help explain why the pail closet came into existence. For these reasons, I have reverted your edits. Parrot of Doom 22:55, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Personally I think this article would be clearer without having such a long preamble about another method. It was also my understanding that large tracts of duplication was not considered desirable in Wikipedia but I am not going to argue with you on the point. PeterEastern (talk) 23:03, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
You may have a point and it may be preferable to chop it down slightly now that you've done the hard work in creating a new article, but it's late and I'm tired. By the way, you've missed the Bibliography section in midden closet, which renders the citations a little bit useless. If you need help please don't be afraid to ask. Parrot of Doom 23:07, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out - I have now added the correct note/reference structure. I am going to be exiting stage left from this area of wikipedia soon, but do feel free to develop the content as you see fit. I started out looking to more background to composting toilets and the old privy system and then got sucked into sorting a load more stuff out that I intended to, but I am pretty much done now. My remaining questions are about how connected the privies were to the middens - did one often flow into the other under gravity, or was a bucket often used to basically chuck stuff on a separate heap. Possibly you can enlighten us! Did the overflow from the mideens get into the sewers via regular street gutters in an unintended way or were they plumbed in. Also... I understand that cellars in Soho London were pretty much used as cesspits prior to the Broad Street cholera outbreak. It would be great to have a few more gory details about this stuff. PeterEastern (talk) 23:26, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Edit, revert, discuss[edit]

I made several changes, step by step, with individual edit summaries, and it's all been reverted in one fell swoop. I don't see how uncovering hidden links (honeybucket), adding British and American variants (bucket/pail), adding composting toilet to "see also", etc, in any way harms the article. I want to create readable and informative articles. Please explain each change you object to. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 12:32, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Where does the article state - "Although the more advanced water closet was widespread in wealthy homes by the end of the nineteenth century" and "In the 21st century, it has made a sort of come-back in the form of the modern composting toilet and the production of humanure" - changes you made to the lead that don't appear to reflect the article's content? Parrot of Doom 20:54, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi Parrot, thanks for your promptness and apologies for my delay; I've been away from Wikipedia for most of the week. With regard to the first example you give, I found the wording awkward on several counts and was attempting to rephrase to ameliorate it. With regard to the second, you are correct that there is no material in the body of the article about modern dry systems, but I had added a couple of items to the "See also" section. I am happy to put these two examples aside for the moment, because you are quite right that the lede should summarise the article, and it's the article itself that I'd like to focus on. Here are the sorts of changes I made and you reverted; let's see if we can come to agreement here.
  • Adding composting toilet and humanure to See also, with brief glosses
  • Make clear that "privy midden" and "midden closet" are two terms for the same thing
  • Defining "midden" and "privy" in this context
  • Rewording to avoid the ambiguous term "human waste"
Can we agree to reinstate these? Carbon Caryatid (talk) 19:39, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
I've no problem with that so feel free. I'm just old and cynical regarding Wikipedia, with so many articles to watch it's hard to keep track when many changes are made at the same time. I don't think humanure is appropriate for this article though, you should add it to nightsoil instead. I think you should probably only change the first linked instance of privy "The closet was a small outdoor privy which" as the others are contextually correct in their use. Parrot of Doom 20:07, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll re-add all the changes I made to which you don't object. Then I'll leave it a few days and see if I can offer any improvements. (The OED leads me to think I might be able to.) I do hope future changes can be considered individually and not mass reverted. All the best. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 14:21, 2 June 2016 (UTC)


Bucket toilet explanation[edit]

I have modified the wording under "see also": note that honey bucket has various meanings, it's not a bucket toilet for everyone. Perhaps rather add it as a separate bullet point? See long previous discussion here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Bucket_toilet#Proposal_for_name_change_of_this_article This lead to the new page for honey bucket.EvMsmile (talk) 09:38, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

The dab for honey bucket is a step forward. The "see also" changes seem fine. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 11:28, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Merger from privy midden[edit]

I propose moving privy midden into this page, as it is similar to a pail closet. --Therealelizacat (talk) 10:59, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Support - Both terms seem to be rather specific for use in th UK only, and they are historical terms. Should a merged artile have a different overarching title though?EvMsmile (talk) 21:22, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Oppose. True, the terms are historic, but the types of toilet described still exist, e.g. in India. More importantly, the difference is significant: one is a hole in the ground, and was acknowledged to represent all that was wrong about urban (lack of) sanitation; the other is a container-based system, by which municipal planners took a deliberate step forward in public sanitation. Of Wikipedia's four reasons for mergers, the only one I think might be relevant is overlap, in in my view the articles are sufficiently distinctive, and about sufficiently distinct topics, that they do not overlap to any detrimental extent. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 16:48, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Oppose They serve the same purpose but are most definitely not the same thing and as such should be kept separate. J3Mrs (talk) 18:13, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Isn't a "privy midden" simply what we would call nowadays a pit latrine? If not, then what did you mean by "still used in India", User:Carbon Caryatid?EvMsmile (talk) 00:22, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
I claim no expertise on the minutiae of differentiation, but yes, it seems that a privy midden (an obsolete term) is closest in meaning to a pit latrine. I would interpret "privy" as private (OED "A room or small building set aside for people to urinate and defecate in") and "midden" as the pile that results, but I'm prepared to be corrected. I think the implication is that, in towns, privy middens were always disgusting and pestilential. Properly constructed pit latrines can be quite tolerable, and are more likely to be encountered in a rural setting nowadays. So - to head off any suggestion - I think those two terms also deserve separate articles, as currently exist. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 00:50, 6 March 2017 (UTC)