How the Victorians wiped their bums

The Wellcome Library's collection includes a small but piquant selection of Victorian bumwad; it's horrifically fascinating stuff:

Our main example comes from the 1870s, when one popular product was the Diamond Mills Paper Company's 'Bromo Paper' which came in packs of about 500 individual sheets inside a solid card box (21 x 15 x 3 cm.), open at the top so that single sheets could be pulled out as required. Every sheet had a distinguishing watermark of 'Bromo' so that counterfeit versions could be easily spotted (the packaging states this was a problem in India). This toilet tissue had been awarded the highest prize at the Paris Exposition in 1878 and every pack proudly bore reproductions of both sides of the medal to prove it. The Wellcome Library holds one such pack, now catalogued as EPH471A.

The paper contained the "disinfectants and curatives" Bromo chloralum and carbolic acid, which the manufacturers' claimed would "…render its use not only a positive preventive of that most distressing and almost universal complaint, the Piles, but also a thorough deodorizer and disinfectant of the water closet". However common haemorrhoids were at the time, the flush toilet was certainly not standard in 1878 and the smells that would have developed in the non-flush version, particularly over a hot summer, would have needed all the help with deodorization that could be given.

19th Century Toilet Paper

(Thanks, RMacF, via Submitterator)