Chicago House Wrecking Company, 1904
However, in 1904 people were still considerably more genteel, more refined — even to offering embossed porcelain bowls to make the bathroom look more upscale. (And any house that had indoor toilets in 1940 was doing well.) They look royally gorgeous in these etchings certainly, so when was this style flushed away? Taking a guess, possibly when we lost the servants who had to clean them.
What was the oddly-named Chicago House Wrecking Company and why were they selling toilets? The company was founded about 10 years earlier as a salvage operation. They demolished the buildings from Worlds Fairs, closed hotels and resorts, and the like, then recycled the remains – ropes, iron, wood, fittings. The water closets and plumbing in their catalog were NOT recycled but always brand-new, as they took repeated pains to point out.
Eventually as their business model evolved the original name started to chafe. They rebranded as Harris Brothers in the 1910s, and took to selling kit home plans (like Sears) and shipping full houses complete with lumber — and toilets. Sorry- I meant syphon-jet closets.