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Through the Years: A Gallery of the World's Toilets

Roman Toilets

Roman public toilets in Turkey.

A Roman-era public restroom in Ephesus, Turkey.

Toilets in Wartime

Latrines and kitchen in World War I.

Latrines and cooking pots mingle near the front lines during World War I. The soldiers' pit latrines are directly behind the open-air kitchen where three army cooks are preparing food.

Bathroom in 1918

An American bathroom in 1918.

A typical American bathroom in 1918, as seen in an advertisement for the G. C. Glass Plumbing company.

Privy, North Carolina, 1914-1915

An outhouse in North Carolina in 1914.

The less well-off would have made do with a simple outdoor privy.


Outhouses in an alley in Sydney.

Outhouses in back of a butcher's work area in Sydney, Australia in 1900. This photograph was taken in a quarantine area during an outbreak of bubonic plague.


A feces collector picks up toilet waste in Amsterdam in 1953.

(Image credit: Nationaal Archief)

A 'strontschepper,' or feces-collector, collects toilet waste in buckets in this 1953 photograph taken in Amsterdam.

Open Sewer, Uganda

A drainage channel contaminated with sewage in Uganda.

(Image credit: WaterAid / Caroline Irby)

n open drainage channel flowing through a low-income area of Kampala, Uganda. There are no adequate sanitation facilities in this area so the drain is contaminated with raw sewage.

Makeshift Latrine

A makeshift latrine in Bangladesh.

(Image credit: WaterAid / Juthika Howlader)

A makeshift latrine in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Children Play Near Open Sewage.

An open sewage drainage in Zambia.

(Image credit: WaterAid / Anna Kari)

Children play over an open sewer in the slum of N-gombe in Lusaka, Zambia.

Building a Latrine

Building a latrine in Ghana.

(Image credit: WaterAid / Jon Spaull)

Construction of a latrine slab as part of a WaterAid sanitation program helping a poor community in Tamale, Ghana.

A New Latrine

A new latrine in Bangladesh.

(Image credit: WaterAid / Juthika Howlader)

Mithu, next to the latrine his family built following a WaterAid program in Laloich village, Mohanpur district, Rajshahi , Bangladesh.