Dutch term – Beerwagen

A beerwagen was a cess car, a car used to collect faeces in larger cities. In Amsterdam, this was also known as a boldootwagen, which jokingly referred to Boldoot, an Amsterdam factory making perfume.

Before indoor plumbing, people would use buckets instead of toilets. A beerwagen would come by to collect the waste. It did not need to ring a bell, since its smell would announce its arrival.

Cess car in Amsterdam, 1928. Credits: Stadsarchief Amsterdam (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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