|An example of an ancient gas furnace, likely similar to the one Letty describes|
Also in the basement, Dad had a work bench, tool box, and lots of interesting tools, Tools fascinated me because you could make things with them. On the opposite side (west side) of the basement, there was a big wooden bin built, maybe eight feet long and three or four feet high, and part of the front was removable like a gate. I bet you wonder what this bin was for, and I will tell you. It's interesting because I have never seen one before or since. It was a potato bin, and herein lies a story. Over the bin was a small opening through the wall to the outdoors. All year, except in the fall, it was covered with a wooden cover. The three fall months it had a screen on. Only when we were filling the bin in September was it uncovered. So we could let the dug, dry potatoes pour in, down the shute that Dad made, into the bin. Sometimes, we kids would get fed up doing it the right way, and would stand back as far as we could and fire them in one at a time. As the hole in the wall was only about 8" x 16", and we owned the lot beside our house, and it was all in potatoes, you can imagine the temptation to pitch a few. We had lots of potatoes off that lot. Of course a few dozen got squashed on the side of the house, much to Dad's disgust.
It tells you how new an indoor bathroom was, to have it situated in an unfinished basement. My parents continued the tradition of planting potatoes and saving them for the winter. However, we had a wooden box for the, but no entry from outside the house, so we just carried them in baskets and dumped them.