| Chamber Pots were utilized as vessels in which to urinate during the night in the day and age when houses did not have indoor plumbing, and outdoor bathrooms (outhouses) were in use. [They were more vulgarly referred to as piss pots.] The earliest chamber pots, such as the one exhibited here, were made of ceramic; in this case, the material is known as "white ironstone china".
Chamber pots were predominantly made of ceramic, but they were also constructed of metals, such as tin or enameled tin. Wealthier households boasted of chamber pots constructed of silver. Chamber pots to be found in antique stores today often are missing their lids, but originally all of the pots would have had lids to prevent the odor of urine from constantly wafting into the room. As one of the photos shows, the lid was formed with an inner ring that helped in trapping any smells within the pot, sort of like how the "s" trap in a sink's plumbing works. The inner rim of the lid would also have helped to keep the lid from shifting and falling off while the pot and its contents were being carried outside the following morning to be disposed of.
Ceramic chamber pots tended to have one handle, but ones with two handles existed. The two-handled style was sometimes called a 'marriage pot'; the two handles supposedly facilitated handing the pot from one spouse to the other. The metal chamber pots often had a wire handle and resembled nothing more than a metal bucket with a lid.