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July 18, 2012

With all the weddings going on in my friendship groups this year, this great post by the Wellcome Collection caught my eye, and I thought I’d share…..

Wellcome Collection Blog

A humorous wedding present disguises an unspeakable function. Suzi Wright explains why her favourite object from Medicine Man was already on its way out by the mid-19th century.

The history of the toilet is an uninspiring story to some, but I have always been fascinated by the toilet’s evolution and, in particular, the role of the humble chamber pot. The chamber pot had an essential role in disposing of waste before the flushing toilet became common. The history of sanitation and waste was recently explored in Wellcome Collection’s Dirt exhibition, which examined our ambivalent relationship with dirt. The development of public health in Britain is a rich story and can be told through one of my favourite objects in our Medicine Man gallery, the Victorian chamber pot.

Victorian houses often did not have toilets; if they did, they were usually outside in the back yard. Chamber pots like this…

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