What did we use before toilet paper?

May 2021

Before toilet paper was wildly available, there were several alternatives used. Sticks to sponges, and even corn husks were used in bathrooms!

In a full-circle moment, many Brits and Americans were recycling. Shopping catalogues and newspapers were also used in out houses. 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. American Joseph Gayetty began selling ‘Medicated Paper.’ The paper was treated with aloe, giving it a ‘soothing’ medicated quality. 

The product slogan for the early toilet paper may have been ‘the greatest necessity of the age’ but that wasn’t the general consensus. Gayetty labelled a ‘quack’ by some people in the medical community!

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

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