The history of indoor toilets (including those that flush) goes back further into history than you might expect. I share the timeline of such facilities, followed by surviving examples of Victorian indoor toilets, schematics of proper plumbing techniques of the day, and floor plans including indoor tubs and toilets. Victorians–at least late Victorians–had life pretty comfortable.
Chamber pots were a necessary accompaniment to the outhouse (a.k.a “the necessary”). Illness, foul weather, the elderly, emergencies–all credible reasons to need a ready source of relief. It’s one of the least glamorous aspects of everyday life in Victorian America. Who knew such fancy chamber pots could be purchased through Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog?
Open discussion of a woman’s menstrual cycle (and hygiene needs) are a relatively new development, but women have been coping without modern feminine hygiene products for millennia. The Victorian-era American women had many conveniences for their day, including ready-made, catalog-ready products marketed specifically for them. Hygiene often included douching with specially designed syringes. The timing of the first truly disposable product just might surprise you. This article contains images from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog and Montgomery, Ward & Co. catalog of the day.
Victorian Era Dentistry Advertisements show a great deal about the methods, products, components, and beliefs surrounding oral hygiene in the late 19th century.
Every cowboy knew how to whittle a toothpick from a stick–and did so regularly. But when (and how) did toothpicks become commercialized? What was the earliest dental floss made of?