Sunday, April 12, 2009

Seattle Underground

When Seattle streets were first built in the mid 1800's, some were below the water level of the Puget Sound when the tide was high. This presented flooding problems and sewage disposal issues for the growing city during the late nineteenth century. Those streets, sidewalks, and stores were eventually elevated by building the same above the troublesome ones. Walls were built, beams installed, and new streets and sidewalks constructed, and the lower level abandoned.

Today, guided tours are available to enter this underground space and hear a guide describe the founding and growth of this northwestern U. S. city.   My wife, daughter, and I took the tour a few weeks ago.  I learned many interesting facts, but the one bit of trivia I learned was about the flush toilet.  The guide told us that Thomas Crapper popularized the flush toilet in the northwest with a shipment of 1500 units to Seattle around 1880. They sold immediately. You can see one of these toilets in a picture below.

Have a good week!


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