It’s On The Toilet

by Sherry Riter in Art  ,Different


Did you know that there is a toilet seat museum? It was created and filled by Barney Smith of San Antonio, Texas. Barney adds to his collection continuously and it has developed into his full-time job at the young age of 89 (born 1921).

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum

The lids are decorated with historic items (ash from Mt. St. Helens, piece of the Space Shuttle Challenger), memorable items (his 60 wedding anniversaries, mother’s jewelry and buttons), and fun decorations which are all donated. Each lid is numbered, photographed and cataloged with documentation of who sent the donated materials and a description which includes the inspiration for the art piece.

His organization skills, I would say, are quite impressive considering everything is labeled!

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum

Mom, I thought I would make something like the center lid for your gift on Mother’s Day!

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum

I find them all to be quite fun and some of them totally hilarious.

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum
Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum
Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum

The museum, which is located in Barney’s garage, house nearly nine hundred of his original hand-carved, decorated and painted toilet lids. The visitors of the museum are from fifty states in the United States and sixty-four countries. He expects that there will be at least 1,000 visitors who will drop in this year to see his collection. There are not any set hours for the museum. If the garage door is open, so is the museum. If it is closed, you’ll have to call to make an appointment because as Barney said, “I get so tired until I’ll be a drilling in somebody’s name and I will drop my drill onto the toilet seat and I’ll pick it up, and rub my eyes and wake up and get busy. I’ll work a few more hours before I ever turn off the light and go to bed.”

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum
Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum
All Images: Flickr juliegomoll

Address: 239 Abiso, Alamo Heights, TX 78209-5103
Tel: 210-824-7791
Price of Admission: 0.00

The Redhead Riter

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Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 a whole lotta love April 26, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Wow. That's one of the craziest collections I've ever seen! I was at an antique store a few months ago and came across something I didn't know what it was… Turned out it was the row seat from the outhouse at Grandma's Moses' school. The dealer had turned down $11,000 for it. I was stunned. Anyway, I think this beats that in terms of oddity. Thanks for sharing!


2 Angie April 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Fab! It takes all kinds! What a cutie!


3 Dame Nuisance April 26, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Ain't America great? And completely wacky?


4 passionofthemom April 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I must admit, I scoffed when I first saw what this was about. But those photos!! Just…wow! Thanks so much for posting this, as I will now have to make a pilgrimage there to SA and see this for myself. (I live in Austin, 2 hrs. away.) =) VERY cool! LOL


5 Natacha April 27, 2010 at 12:26 am

This is awesome. I lived in Europe for 5 years (Switzerland) and did you know that you can buy the most fanciest of fancy toilet seats? They can even make them to your hobby or color and etc? Not my style, but fun to see.


6 mimito5 April 27, 2010 at 6:03 am

I've seen a lot of collections in my 61 years, but those are quite unique! And, in an unusual way, a great recycling effort:) Actually toilet seat art is becoming quite fashionable. Check out customsignsandcrafts on eBay! No wonder I can't find an oak seat for my toilet! mimito5


7 Jennifer April 27, 2010 at 7:39 am

That's fantastic.


8 Navyvet April 27, 2010 at 11:36 am




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