W R Mainds' watercolour sketch of a backcourt off Rottenrow, 1891. The stairs lead to a house known as the Dean's Clachan.
The wheelbarrow and spade in the foreground may have belonged to one of the scavengers, or night soil men, who were responsible for removing human waste from outdoor dry closets commonly known as "privies". Outside toilets were commonplace in city centre backcourts until the provision of internal sanitation became compulsory under the terms of the Police Act of 1892.
Reference: Sp Coll Bh12-x.3
Glasgow University Library, Special Collections
backcourts, chimneys, clothes poles, Dean's Clachan, dry closets, night soil men, outdoor toilets, Police Act, 1892, privies, scavengers, shovels, spades, stairs, wheelbarrows