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Object Name Chair, Potty
Alternate Name Potty Chair
Date 1850-1925
Description Child's potty chair. Small rattan armchair with a circular cut-out in the seat and space for a pot inside its base. Chair has wide curved back that slopes into arms. Seat is wood; opening at center of seat is 5 inches in diameter. Flaring rattan skirt below seat is concave in front. Proper left arm has a metal ring at the end that might have once attached to a tray or strap. Overall height approximately 24.5 inches; seat height approximately 9.125 inches.
(Keywords: Children's Furniture, Wicker, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Gertrude K. Coolidge
Ownership and History This chair came to the Staten Island Historical Society from Gertrude K. Coolidge (ca. 1880-1977). She and her husband, artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, moved to Staten Island in 1928. Their daughter, Marcella, had been born around 1910.

This was a common type of American potty chair, with an enclosed base designed to hide the pot that would have been placed under the seat. The Sears, Roebuck catalog of 1897 shows a similar form politely labeled as a "Child's Cabinet Chair," with a tray across the front. The catalog text calls it "a household necessity where there are children."
Earliest Date 1850
Latest Date 1925
Subjects Children
Lexicon Sub-category Furniture
Catalog Number F01.0172
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by Con Edison, 2010.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.