What did we use before toilet paper?

May 2021

Before toilet paper was wildly available, there were several alternatives used in the bathroom, from sticks to sponges, and even corn husks!

In a full-circle moment, many Brits and Americans used shopping catalogues and newspapers. Although, unlike Feel Good, it wasn’t recycled into a soft, bright, white roll…

Toilet paper wasn’t made commercially available in the west until 1857 when American Joseph Gayetty began selling ‘Medicated Paper.’ 

The product slogan may have been ‘The greatest necessity of the age’ but that wasn’t the general consensus, with Gayetty labelled a ‘quack’ by some people in the medical community! The paper was treated with aloe, giving it a ‘soothing’ medicated quality.

However, it wasn’t all positive – users could still be caught out by a splinter!

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