Slop Jar

norar_ilSeptember 5, 2009

I have a lidded slop jar, made by Homer Laughlin, which I have been told is worthless. It's old, solid white, china (or porcelain) and in good condition -- no chips or cracks in sight. Is what I've been told really true? The guy said they cannot be given away.

If so, what does one do with a slop jar when one has indoor plumbing?? Too pretty to hit the trash and my memory is too good for me to use it as a covered casserole dish!

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Did the guy who told you it's worthless offer to take it off your hands for a dollar??
Is it a "thunder mug" or a slop jar?
Sit it on the floor in the powder room and use it to store extra T. P....or in the laundry room for detergent....or on the floor under a bed as a reminder of what used to be.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 12:03AM
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LOL. My son has one in his loo with extra rolls of TP in it. I'm old enough to have used my share of 'garage toilets' and those little contraptions saved young kids many a night of trudging through the snow in the dark to potty. Never seen a china one, however. Though I do have a china spitoon. The ones I've seen were all just porcelain-clad metal. I sure wouldn't pitch it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Never seen a China thunder mug??
Aah, live in a poor section of the Midwest!
I have 2 (count 'em TWO) white ironstone "chamber pots"! And I once served a luncheon to my antiquing friends of pea soup in one!
Yep! Really did!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 10:03PM
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I have a "Chamber Pot" that I truly love. It is white and it contains a yellow flower arrangement. I also have a "slop jar" that has a tiny pink flower design; it is 12 inches tall maybe 12 round with a woven handle. It also has a silk flower arrangement. The pot sits on the floor (somewhere) and the chamber pot sits on the shelf under a marble wash stand. They were very difficult to find in Scotland some 35 years ago, and there is no way I would part with them. Nanny

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 10:33PM
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Mine is brown, floral transferware, circa 1900 & holds extra TP in the master bathroom. It seems an appropriate place & use for it!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 5:53PM
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Cracked me up, Linda. Did they appreciate the play on words?

Poorer section of Midwest? No, Appalachian foothills, kid you not, you'd think there would be all sorts of pottery chamber pots around here. I could really see where they'd fit in beautifully in Victorian homes. I suspect that there are/have been a lot of folks in this rural area to whom a slop jar has been too recent a memory. When they turn up at auctions, and somebody bids on that lot, you often find them left in the grass somewhere, under a tree.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 2:39AM
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I've heard them called by various names -- slop jar, chamber pot, thunder mug. Thanks for the ideas.

No, the guy didn't want it at all so it went back into the milk house. I think I'll bring it in the house and use as suggested.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 9:54PM
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Here it's a "gazunda"- 'cos it "gazunda" the bed ;-D

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 4:50AM
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But....a slop jar is not the same as a thunder mug...or chamber pot.
A slop jar is what was used to empty the wash basin into, after you have filled it from the matching pitcher.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:41AM
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How big/heavy is it? If it's not too big, you could find a place to keep it (kitchen or garage?) and put compost-bound "slops" in it til you can empty it into the compost bin/heap. Maybe put a plastic bucket in it - like the kind frozen cookie dough comes in - to keep from having to wash it out every time.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 2:58PM
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A slop jar can be the same as a chamber pot, if you use it as one, and a lot of people did. That's what I meant by you never see chamber pots around here. People just got rid of the middleman. Believe me, they were used for more base and less aesthetic reasons than dumping water from a wash basin.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Well, I am from MO. and I do have one but I use it with rolled up hand towels or sit rose petals in it. It is milky white and in good condition. However, never used it for a chamber pot.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 2:25PM
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I always thought slop jar & chamber pot were the same thing - chamber pot being a more refined term. Now, I don't know what I have.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 3:10PM
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below is a link to a Victorian chamber set. It has both the chamber pot as well as the slop jar. The slop jar is larger and usually has handles in all the sets I have seen. I have a set similar to the one in the link, only I do not have all the pieces. I have the pitcher and basin, the covered chamber pot, the slop jar with handles (mine does not have a cover, not sure if it ever did)and the mug. I do not have the soap dish, the small pitcher or the vase. I do believe the purpose of the slop jar was to hold the dirty wash water from the basin after washing was completed and until it could be disposed of.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 11:45PM
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It's used for disposal of anything, and it is what the chamber pot was often dumped into because it was not easily broken. If you had to trot it out to a privy, a pretty porcelain chamber pot could be broken. In rural households, the chamber pot was forgone altogether and the dirty deed was just done in a slopjar. Been there and done that.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 10:19PM
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I am sure any piece could be used for any purpose anyone might choose. But the intended purpose for the slop jar was to empty "slops"...not to do your "dirty deeds" in.
If you had a lovely flower sprigged Meakin or Leeds or Knowles and Knowles chamber set, complete with covered chamber pot and a slop jar and pitcher and bowl...I don't believe it would be the norm to use the jar meant for wash water for a toilet.
Perhaps if there were a chipped white enamel slop jar, some families might bypass the chamber pot.
One of my grandfathers used a chamber pot at night even though there was a bathroom with a flush toilet in the next room.
To each his own!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:32PM
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I have one in the master bath holding gardening magazines.
In my family, we refer to the bathroom as "The Library" as in...I'm going to the library.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 1:05PM
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