Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The American Sanitary Plumbing Museum is the butt of a lot of jokes. It's also a shrine to the history of plumbing. The joke is that in most museums you generally have to search for a toilet. Here, toilets abound, some of them dating back to the early nineteenth century. You'll see ornate porcelain toilets, chain-pull toilets with high wooden tanks, and an "earth cabinet" that collected the user's waste in lime instead of water. There's even toilet paper from the 1800's, referred to back then as "boudoir paper." The museum was founded by Worcester plumbing equipment distributor Charles Manoog in 1979. Manoog was getting ready to retire and says he wanted to give something back to the profession. Today, his son Russ Manoog runs the distribution business. Down the street, in a refurbished warehouse, Russ's wife, B.J. Manoog curates the only known plumbing museum in the world.