On page 21 of the contract specifications: "Provide and set where shown Budde's slop hoppers and bell traps at same to be removed." The wording here is wee ambiguous, but we interpret Jones as intending to say, "take out those (temporary) bell traps and put in the slop hoppers."

Bell traps (see right) were considered old-fashioned and unsanitary by the turn of the century, but were obviously still used, at least as a temporary way to cap the top of a sewer pipe yet still have it usable. (For a thorough, if somewhat disgusting, discussion of Edwardian plumbing, see: "Sanitary House Drainage, Its Principle and Practice;" Coleman, T.E.; Spon & Chamberlain, New York, 1896, available on-line at Google Books.)

A "slop-hopper" (also called a "slop-sink") was a place to dump the contents of chamber pots or bedpans and had the two elements considered essential for modern, sanitary plumbing: a water barrier between the sewer and the house to keep down odors, and a tank of some sort to hold water used for the flush. The "hopper" was what we call the toilet bowl today.

Joseph Budde was a top West Coast manufacturer of toilets (specifically, "water closets, slop, waste and surface hoppers") in San Francisco and an early innovator, with an 1882 patent for a "hopper closet," shown at left.

A description of Budde's shop can be found in "Master Hands in the Affairs of the Pacific Coast" (Western Historical and Publishing Co.; San Francisco, 1892). At his factory/showroom at 575 Mission, customers could view his line of water closets, including models named the "Golden Gate," the "Pioneer of '49," and the "Cliff Stream."


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