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Thread: "privy' bags

  1. #1
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    http://lancasterfarming.com/northeed...tion=B&page=20

    I hope this link works! We get the Lancaster (PA)Farming newspaper and there is an article this week about 'privy bags'. It says that "practical storage for the paper saved (for use in the outhouses) varied but in one part of southeastern Pennsylvania it became popular for the women of the household to decorate the plain old linen privy bag to make it not just functional but artisitc. " There are pictures with the article and many of the bags are small quilts! Lots of work to be hung in the outhouse!

    There is going to be a display of these bags 11/21 to May 2010 at the Historical Soceity of the Cocalico Valley's museum in Ephrata. There is a website listed: http://www.cocalicovalleyhs.org/

    (I found the correct site now!)

    I just had to share this with you before I forgot!! I never heard of these bags.

  2. #2
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I was not able to get the link to work. But the idea is fascinating. I remember having to walk out back, but I don't remember any ornamentation in our utilitarian outhouse in northern Minnesota. My uncle later painted his and made it really pretty AFTER they got inside plumbing. But my aunt was not into quilting.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I never thought about what they used to save privy paper in....what a creative storage solution!!!

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The historical society is dot org. http://www.cocalicovalleyhs.org/

  5. #5
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    I don't remember a "privy bag" in any of the outhouses I ever visited. Just an outdated catalog or other "scrap paper".. and I do remember that you wanted to use the matte pages, not the shiny ones, and you would crumple and straighten them several times to make them more effective.

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippy
    .. and I do remember that you wanted to use the matte pages, not the shiny ones, and you would crumple and straighten them several times to make them more effective.
    TMI, Tippy!

  7. #7
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    anybody need a toilet...still going to outhouse?: ad at bottom of page :lol:

    anyhow, since I've never had any experience with outhouses, I am assuming that a privy bag held the paper for the 'paperwork'?
    Like a holder for plastic bags in your kitchen?
    wonders never cease, but if you had an outhouse, I guess you would need somewhere to keep the, um, - paper.
    I guess I just thought there was a Sears and Roebuck sitting there.
    Have to keep the critters out though. interesting.
    oh, I can see the logic in crumpling and straightening too. Like new money :lol:

  8. #8
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    We have an outhouse at camp. I would love to see one of these. Maybe I could make one for our "Camp Gottago"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Quote Originally Posted by Tippy
    .. and I do remember that you wanted to use the matte pages, not the shiny ones, and you would crumple and straighten them several times to make them more effective.
    TMI, Tippy!
    [b]

    ROFLOL.. well my dear.. just consider it a sharing of historical fact. besides.. who knows, someday you might get stuck needing to use a primitive facility and that tidbit of fact might come in handy. :lol: :shock:

  10. #10
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    kwhite - there is an outhouse at hubby's hunting camp. They keep their rolls in a big old potatoe chip can. I think the chip makers took their potatoe chips to the local farmer's market in these cans in the old days. I think if I would make a privy bag to hold their t-paper, they would laugh my husband out of camp! Plus, the next time we were at camp, we would find that someone had stolen it!

    The bags look like they might be about 18" square. Supersize a block maybe? Hey, maybe instead of hiding an extra roll somewhere close to the toilet here at home, I can make a bag and hang it on the wall nice and handy!

  11. #11
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    When I was little, I was taken on holiday to a wooden bungalow which was one of several surrounding a field. The outhouse around the back had carefully cut squares of newspaper that had been threaded on a string, and hung on a nail at an appropriate height. No quilted bags in that one, but this was in the south east of England.

  12. #12
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    My mom and dad put a privy behind their cabin in No. CA mountains. We always took the previous years S&R catalog up for vacation. Mom said it reminded her so much of growing up on the farm, she couldn't bear to give it up, or to use real TP in there!! She's just so sentimental!! :thumbup: :-)

  13. #13
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Can't say anyone had decorative bags for holding the rolls...I do remember a big nail with squares of newsprint poked on. When growing up in the late sixties/early seventies in Western Australia, there was an interesting idea that emerged from the local ladies, and these items would be for sale at every fete or church/school fundraiser. I will try and describe them...as I have never owned one (I found them unappealing to put it mildly).

    A doll about the size of a Barbie would be purchased..A skirt would be constructed usually knitted or in crochet, this would be a big bell shape (to cover the spare roll), then a bodice would be made, the doll was then dressed and popped over the spare roll, most times the legs were left intact and they slotted into the tube. Some creative types would then give her a bonnet or a parasol or add copious amounts of lace.....she would then sit on the tank or a handy shelf. The skirt and bodice was usually made of that lurid nylon ribbon, easier to wash I guess.

    If you google "toilet roll doll" there are a heap of patterns and images.

    Think I would much prefer "privy bags"!

  14. #14
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I didn't care for the doll mine were crochet and just matched the bathroom lol

  15. #15
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippy
    I don't remember a "privy bag" in any of the outhouses I ever visited. Just an outdated catalog or other "scrap paper".. and I do remember that you wanted to use the matte pages, not the shiny ones, and you would crumple and straighten them several times to make them more effective.
    that's what i remember, too. :mrgreen: my cousins had a privy with cutouts on the door, and all they did was nail a catalog right through all the pages onto the wall. you pulled off the sheets of paper as you needed them.. montgomery ward, it was. :lol: :lol: you could read as passed the ...time. :oops: :oops:

  16. #16
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    My sister and her DH have a privy near their cabin in Montana. Wouldn't she be surprised if I presented her with a 'privy' bag! the more I think of it, the beter the idea sounds!

  17. #17
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    Earthwalker, I can remember the dolls you are describing! I had several talented aunts who crocheted and did make some of those dolls. Most of the time, though, they were for decoration only, and the roll in use was on a regular TP holder/roller. Thanks for the memory!

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