Last week I was giving a talk at my alma mater, the University of Victoria. The talk was in the University Centre, one of the older buildings on campus. It was built in 1978, and looks it (as it happens, there are renovations underway).
I went to a bathroom up on the second floor, and noticed this little fixture attached to the side of the counter.
It’s an ashtray, glued or welded permanently shut (here’s a broader view for context). It made me think about what this small, poorly ventilated space must have been like in 1980 if a couple of men were smoking in the bathroom. It’s funny how far we’ve come in thirty years.
Then I thought about all of the vestigial ashtrays in our public spaces. For example, I still occasionally find them in the armrest of airplane seats. I was going to suggest that they’re still common in cars, but this article from 2000 (!) informs me that they’re not. I don’t ride in cars often enough, obviously.
Where else do you spot unused ashtrays?