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19 of 159 photos

Prison Pots

Eastern State Penitentiary , Philadelphia, Pa.ESP is a national historic landmark, built in the 1820s, it was the first penitentiary. It was designed so that each inmate had his own cell. Each cell had a single small window in the wall and ceiling situated such that "God's rays would shine upon the prisoner and help him repent." Most of the prison is now in disrepair.I noticed this stool highlighted, as described, with "God's rays" and could indeed feel the solitude and reflection.

It is not clear why these pots are in this cell, or their original purpose. Each cell had a toilet and sink, even when built in the 1820s. This was remarkable because at that time, even the White House had outdoor plumbing and yes, the proverbial "piss pot" to use at night. I don't these pots were for that purpose, but then again, I doubt they were for flower arrangements either!

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Prison Pots