Home

Tours | Categories (New, Hot) | Map

Alcohol - Ancient - Animal - Architecture - Art - Aviation - Boxing - Celebrity - Charity - Children - Church - Cinema - Comedy - Crime - Dance - Death - Disaster - Drugs - Fashion - Food - Gambling - Ghost - Grave - Health - Historical - Industry - Justice - LGBT - Literary - Look Up - Medical - Military - Motoring - Murder - Museum - Music - Nature - Naval - Paranormal - Pioneer - Poetry - Police - Politics - Pub - Public Amenities - Quirky - Religion - Retail - Ripper - River - Royalty - Science - Sculpture - Sex - Signs - Society - Sport - Subterranean - Technology - Theatre - Train - Transport - Tube - TV - Weather -

Contact Us

IN THE NEWS

Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

Carry On in London Tour
Carry On in London Tour

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

11th December 1974 TV Presenter Ben Shephard was born in London.

11th December 1941 Dutch government in London declares war on Italy

11th December 1936 King Edward VIII abdicated from the British throne to marry Wallis Simpson.go to related location

11th December 1930 Eccentric violinist Leonard Friedman was born in London.

Spend a Penny



Spend a Penny

This is where the first paid-access toilet was installed.

Location: Royal Exchange, London

Description: In the hot summer of 1858 when the country was bathed in a prolonged heatwave, The Pong, so writers of the time recorded, was significant, London was described as The Big Stink.

The government made the installation of a new sewer system a priority and encouraged entrepreneurs to open new, privately owned public loos.

One of the first such ventures was built here outside the Royal Exchange in London and the proprietors approached magician Maskelyne to design a device that would enable them to charge users for the privilege.

Maskelyne was already known for his inventions; the bus conductor's ticket punch, a typewriter, the film projector, all manner of theatrical props and - of crucial importance to the development of public lavatories - mechanical tableaux that came to life when a coin was dropped into the slot were all invented by Maskelyne.

With his know-how, the design for a loo lock operated by a penny piece was patented by Maskelyne, worked well and was manufactured in thousands to appear in public conveniences in all parts of Britain and the empire.

The euphemism 'spending a penny' was popularized in gags and songs by performers on the music hall stage, although the first record of it appearing in print was not until 1945 in a novel by H. Lewis called 'Strange story'.

Tagged in this Tour: Historic Magic Circle Tour

Themes: Public AmenitiesPublic Amenities Theme  PioneerPioneer Theme
Ranking This Month: 1247/2786
Pages Hit This Month: 28
Link to This Page: http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location/1026
Credits: http://oddsnsods.camio.co.uk

Spend a Penny

This is where the first paid-access toilet was installed.


The Shady Old Lady points out that you can drag this map using mouse. Or visit our full massive map.



Spend a Penny

Got something to add? Write it 'ere:
Name:     Email:
Your email will ONLY be used once, to confirm the publication of your comments. We value your contribution and privacy.

Anti-spam Security: Please enter this code:
Other places nearby...

Debenhams. a loo with a view», 2.6km

One Aldwych - smart toilets», 1.4km

A Loo that's a work of Art», 2.1km

A Dogs's Life», 4.2km

UK's first coin-op launderette», 4.3km

A Garden with a Gruesome Past», 0.7km

A Park with a View», 4.4km

Bizarre Cast Iron Public Toilets», 1.1km

Up the Junction», 4.2km

What no Vicar?», 6.0km