The smell was so bad that Parliament had to be abandoned and relocated to a rural area upstream. Keep in mind, this was at the height of English imperialism. The government of the most powerful nation on Earth came to a screeching halt, all on the grounds of "yuck."
This non-figurative shitstorm was the reason Victorian engineers finally gave in and implemented modern plumbing. Joseph Bazalgette ended up designing the system that London (as well as much of the modern world) still uses today: A network of over 82 miles of sewers and four huge pumping stations, two of which are apparently important enough to be protected heritage sites. In England, even the shit pumps are fancy.
Via Urbanrambles.orgLooks like theyre also the best place to look dope as hell in a top hat.
People Used Some Bizarre Things Before Toilet Paper
Off the top of your head, when would you say toilet paper was invented? A few hundred years ago, maybe? How about the 1930s?
Of course, toilet paper existed before then, but not as the cushiony delight we enjoy today. It was so rough that it could (and did) give people splinters. Picture some of the most iconic figures of the '20s -- Al Capone, flappers, Wall Street brokers. They all had splinters in their assholes.
If imagining everyone in The Great Gatsby having a spike-filled butt doesn't make you feel superior, it's nothing compared to the ancient Greeks. They used pessoi, which were rocks, or smooth bits of ceramic. We may not have created the foundations for Western philosophy, but at least we don't wipe our asses with rocks, Greeks.
The Romans may have forged the longest-lasting empire in human history, but they also cleaned their butts with a briny sponge that everyone in the public bathrooms shared. Meanwhile, the Japanese used a chugi, or "shit stick." The less said about that method, the better.
Chris 73/Wikimedia CommonsSo, good to know: If you ever run out of TP, those paint stir sticks from Home Depot also work.