Nightsoil cart model made by Manchester City Council Cleansing Department, c.1910. The model includes 7 small buckets inside the cart.
In the 1870s pail closets took over from privy middens as the most common type of toilet in the working class areas of Manchester. A pail closet consisted of a seat over a metal pail or bucket which collected the waste. This was better than a privy where the waste fell into a pit which was emptied twice a year. Once a week, the nightsoil men would collect the pail in a nightsoil cart like this model and replace it with a clean pail. The human waste or nightsoil would be taken away to be used as fertiliser on farms in Cheshire and Yorkshire, often being transported by train or canal. When Manchester Corporation – the forerunner of the council – took over responsibility for dealing with nightsoil, they had 80 railway wagons and 92 horses and carts for transporting the waste.
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