Before 1883 lavatories were made, as a rule, with concealed overflows, strangely enough, and open standpipe overflow basins had not been introduced. The first basin of this kind was beaten out in the winter of that year, 1883, of sheet lead after the writer's drawings and afterwards moulded in a local terra cotta yard in yellow clay and baked, and the name "Sanitas" was given to this new type.
Mr. Gerhard, in one of his European treaties on Plumbing,* writes of it in 1897 as follows:
'The prototype of all basins of this construction is the "Sanitas" wash basin, invented several years ago by the Boston architect, Putnam, which is shown in plan and transverse section in Fig. 341, and in perspective in Figs. 342, 343.** This device is in many respects fundamentally different from the kinds of basins hitherto described, and is distinguished by the advantage of having a simple, convenient and sanitary construction. The basin is made either round or elliptical, and has at its back a niche or recess, in which is placed in clear and open view a standpipe valve.
First Rear Outlet. Lavatories and their Early Setting.
"Entwasserungs-Anlagen Amerikanischer Gebaude von Wm. Paul Gerhard, Civil and Sanitary Engineer in New York, in Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Architektur. Stuttgart 1897. Verlag von Arnold Bergstrasser."
As this serves at the same time as an overflow pipe, we have in it a new form of overflow construction for basins. All parts of the basin and its fittings are in sight and easily accessible, and it contains no concealed chamber or parts of any kind, as is the case with many of the basins of other styles for the collection of sediment. The overflow pipe is made detachable, but can nevertheless be easily cleaned without removal." Mr. Gerhard then describes the appliance in detail and concludes as follows: 'The many acknowledged advantages of the 'Sanitas' basin produced the result that a great number of basins of similar construction were put upon the market. Nevertheless, in spite of all the recognized advantages of this kind of basin, the American public were fond of the concealed overflow type, and even the recommendations of the leading sanitary engineers have not as yet succeeded in bringing this type of basin into universal use."
**The Figures in Mr. Gerhard's treatise give other views of the Sanitas basin.
Again, in "Good Housekeeping," Mr. Gerhard writes in 1886: "Much the best form of basin of which I have knowledge is the standpipe outlet basin or 'Sanitas' wash basin."
After a description of the basin he continues: "It is thus seen that the great desideratum, that the fixture should act as a flush tank for its waste pipe and trap, is here accomplished," etc.
Fig. 344 shows one of the earliest forms of the Sanitas Lift
There are a number of better basins than this on the market today, and Mr. Gerhard would probably now be unable to give this one such high recommendation. Since the year he wrote, many other basins have been built with large outlets capable of performing the work of the flush tank and many in which all cesspool chambers have been avoided, as in the excellent types shown in Figs. 317 to 326, inclusive, which in reality leave little to be desired in essentials.
Fig. 345 shows a somewhat more complicated form of standpipe overflow basin which appeared later. It has a regular automatic flush pot discharge.
The standpipe overflow type of basin has the disadvantage of presenting a certain amount of surface exposed to the washing water beyond what is absolutely necessary.
A still further improvement is possible in which even greater simplicity is attained without sacrifice of any valuable feature. Figs. 346 to 361 show a number of the writer's designs. The exterior surfaces of both the standpipe and of its niche are done away with, while equal accessibility of all parts is still preserved as in some of the types described. The standpipe overflow is simply molded in with the rear of the fixture as a fixed part of it and the discharge is effected not by lifting the standpipe but by operating a valve of proper construction within it. This valve should stand directly against the outlet opening in the wall of the fixture, as shown in these figures, so that there be absolutely no unnecessary amount of surface in the interior of the fixture, and the whole valve as well as the interior of the overflow passage should be easily accessible for cleansing.
The mechanism for controlling the valve should be simple and its operation self-explanatory to the user.
Where the fixture is intended for use in public places the construction shown in Figs. 346 to 353 renders it impossible for anyone to remove and carry off the operating brass work. The drawings explain the manner in which this is done in this instance.
For private houses the still simpler mechanism of Figures 346 and 347 suffices. The ground plug is easily lifted out for cleaning the overflow passage. The end of the handle has a downward curve which suggests and aids in slightly lifting it for easier turning, and the movement is so easy that a light touch of the finger is sufficient to open or shut the outlet.
Fig.1 Fig. 356.
Fig. 2. Fig. 357.
Fig. 6 Fig. 361.
It is better to construct the entire fixture of hard earthenware or enameled iron and in one piece, as is now customary, because the whole fixture is stronger, easier to support, cheaper and better than the comparatively old-fashioned combination of earthenware and marble put together with plaster and supported on metallic legs or brackets. The use of the enameled iron construction for the entire fixture and its outlet passages insures safety against a possible fracture of the material of the outlet by a sudden expansion of the metallic waste valve work when very hot water is used. This is a consideration of importance.
All that is needed to support the fixture is a few screws driven into the bathroom wall through holes in the back of the fixture, no special legs or brackets being required. Fig. 363 shows the section of the outlet mechanism for a fixture so constructed.
Figs 356 to 361 give other simple forms of the writer's valve outlet basins, illustrating the principle of a valve operating directly at the basin outlet by a very simple mechanism which sufficiently explains itself.