Book down the toilet
Recycling books is of all ages. Well known are the actions of bookbinders in the 16th and 17th centuries, who cut up medieval manuscripts and used their pages to support bindings (see for an example here). Some time ago I blogged about fragments of medieval love poetry that were used for the lining of a bishop’s mitre. The case of recycling seen here, however, may just top these examples. You are looking at an 18th-century copy of the Historia universalis that was revamped to become a portable toilet. Once you open the book, which stands half a meter high, two wooden boards fold out, while a third forms the top, featuring the all-important hole. Presto: a commode - or bed pan holder - was born. It’s both a brilliant design - made for portable use - and, I’m sure, the dream toilet of book-lovers.
Pic: I am not sure who first reported on this book, but I recently encountered it in a post by Neotarama (here). More detailed information on this commode-book, which sold at a book auction in 2008, here.