The Nation: A Source of Inspiration

American bathrooms, it is generally conceded, are the world's finest. Even Edmund Wilson, the literary critic, admitted that he "derived a good deal more benefit of the civilizing as well as of the inspirational kind from the admirable American bathroom than I have from the cathedrals of Europe."

This noble American institution presently appears to be in some jeopardy. Across the U.S. there are reports of a dire shortage of toilets. Hospitals, homes, schools and office buildings, habitable in all other respects, still stand idle because their bathrooms have not been completed. One of the reasons for the shortage is a...

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