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Luxurious Memories Of Pissing In Paris Urinals (1878 Photos)

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“Prostitutes like wilted flowers and pissoirs filled with piss-soaked bread” – Henry Miller’s ode to Paris

 

3 urinal stalls slate. Floor Maine Paris XIV. Circa 1875.

3 urinal stalls slate. Floor Maine Paris XIV. Circa 1875.

 

In 1878, Charles Marville  (1813-1879) showcased his photographs of Paris’ urinals at the Paris Exposition. The French love an al fresco wee. Many of us do, but only the French have tried to take a waz against a wall and make it better than a hurried, wet-legged, gormless look at piss-stained bricks. In all Marville produced 37 photographs of “kiosks established on public roads and in walks – omnibus Offices, car guards, columns posters, market sheds, chalets window dressers, Water Closets, fountains, Trink-Halls and urinals”.

 

Urinal stall with high display. Square des Batignolles, Paris XVII. Circa 1875.

Urinal stall with high display. Square des Batignolles, Paris XVII. Circa 1875.

 

Urinal light to a stall. Delastre company. Boulevard Sebastopol. Paris First. Circa 1875.

Urinal light to a stall. Delastre company. Boulevard Sebastopol. Paris First. Circa 1875.

 

In 1934, Henry Miller, the American author, shared the sublime joy of taking an open-air leak, writing in Black Spring:

At the Cloud bridge I come to a full stop. I am in no hurry – I have the whole day to piss away. I put my bicycle in the rack under the tree and go to the urinal to take a leak. It is all gravy, even the urinal. As I stand there looking at the house fronts a demure young woman leans out of a window to watch me. How many time have I stood thus in this smiling, gracious world, the sun splashing over me and the birds twittering crazily, and found a woman looking down at me from an open window, her smile crumbling into soft little bits which the birds gather in  heir beaks and deposit sometimes at the base of a urinal where the water gurgles melodiously and a man comes along with his fly open and pours the steaming contents of his bladder over the dissolving crumbs. Standing thus, with heart and fly and bladder open, I seem to recall every urinal I ever stepped into – all the most pleasant sensations, all the most luxurious memories, as if my brain were a huge divan smothered with cushions and my life one long snooze on a hot, drowsy afternoon.

I do not find it strange that America placed a urinal in the middle of the Paris exhibit in Chicago. I think it belongs there, and I think it a tribute that the French should appreciate. True, there was no need to fly the Tricolor above it… And yet how is a Frenchman to know that what impresses the American in looking at a pissotiere, or a vespasienne, or whatever you choose to call it, is the fact that he is in the midst of a people who admit to the necessity of pissing now and then and who know also that to piss one has to use a pisser…

A Century of Progress International Exposition was a World’s Fair chicago

I am a man who pisses largely and frequently, which they say is a sign of great mental activity. However it be, I know that I am in distress when I walk the streets of New York. Wondering constantly where the next stop will be and if I can hold that long…

C’mon. Drink up. Rise, sharp and alive with a full bladder. Let’s take a stroll about the City of light relief.. .

 

8 urinal stalls with shrubs screen, Champs Elysees, Paris VIII. Circa 1875.

8 urinal stalls with shrubs screen, Champs Elysees, Paris VIII. Circa 1875.

1 urinal stall masonry. Drouart company. Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, Paris IV. Circa 1865.

1 urinal stall masonry. Drouart company. Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris IV. Circa 1865.

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Urinal wrapped to 6 stalls. Jardin de la Bourse, Paris II. Circa 1875.

Urinal wrapped to 6 stalls. Jardin de la Bourse, Paris II. Circa 1875.

3 urinal stalls slate. Floor Maine Paris XIV. Circa 1875.

3 urinal stalls slate. Floor Maine Paris XIV. Circa 1875.

Urinal slate with six stalls with raised screen. Boulevard des Batignolles, Paris XVII. Circa 1875.

Urinal slate with six stalls with raised screen. Boulevard des Batignolles, Paris XVII. Circa 1875.

Urinal slate to 6 stalls with raised screen. Place of the Church, Paris XVII. Circa 1875.

Urinal slate to 6 stalls with raised screen. Place of the Church, Paris XVII. Circa 1875.

6 urinal stalls slate. Halles plants, Paris First. 1875.

6 urinal stalls slate. Halles plants, Paris First. 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with doors. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875 1

Urinal cast in two stalls with doors. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875 1

Urinal cast in two stalls with screen. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with screen. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with adherents screens. Paris First. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with adherents screens. Paris First. Circa 1875.

Urinal stall, cast iron and masonry, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, Paris Xe. Circa 1875.

Urinal stall, cast iron and masonry, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, Paris Xe. Circa 1875.

Urinal bright three stalls. Paris Advertising Company. Paris VI. Circa 1875.

Urinal bright three stalls. Paris Advertising Company. Paris VI. Circa 1875.

Urinal stand 6 stalls. Plateau French Theatre. Paris First. Circa 1875.

Urinal stand 6 stalls. Plateau French Theatre. Paris First. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with screen. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with screen. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with doors. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875.

Urinal cast in two stalls with doors. Chaussee de la Muette, Paris XVI. Circa 1875.

Jennings urinal system. Plateau of the Ambigu. Paris Xe. Circa 1875.

Jennings urinal system. Plateau of the Ambigu. Paris Xe. Circa 1875.

 

Via: Vergue

  • chunky

    Love the designs but I wouldn’t fancy standing in the puddles with leaky shoes.