A Montana county plans to dispose of more than three dozen Cold War-era sanitation kits meant to provide makeshift bathroom facilities for fallout shelters.
Forty-two fiberboard drums labeled “SK IV Sanitation Kit” were shipped to Gallatin County in January 1964, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/24mUN5C) reported.
The kits contain a toilet seat, commode liner, 10 rolls of toilet paper that people were cautioned to “USE SPARINGLY,” along with commode chemical. The seat fits on top of the lined drum.
The kits are a reminder of “the subtle but real fear of a nuclear World War III,” said Shane Hope, an archaeologist in the county’s Historic Preservation Board.
After county officials determined they didn’t need the kits any more, they found out the Department of Defense didn’t want them back. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had no use for them, either.
The county has offered some of the kits to museums. The rest may be sold at auction. A value and date haven’t been set.
The kits include instructions for setting up and using the commodes. When the waste reaches “the level of the sanitary fill line on the drum,” users are instructed to put on the included rubber gloves, use the included wire tie to close up the liner and put the lid back on the drum.
“DO NOT REMOVE THE FILLED BAGS FROM THE DRUM,” the instructions caution. And if you need to move the drum, it is preferable to slide it across the floor instead of tilting or lifting.
The drums, which were furnished by the Office of Civil Defense, also included drinking cups and a can opener to open metal cans of food or to pry lids from water-storage drums.