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Is the water-based toilet the pinnacle of 19th century hygienic invention, or did the Victorians literally flush away our most precious resource?

It's the most celebrated period of British ingenuity, but are our Victorian forebears due a rethink? Sci-curious sisters Kat and Helen Arney are on hand with some revisionist revelations that could turn what we think we know completely upside down.

Was the water-based toilet the pinnacle of 19th century hygienic invention, or did the Victorians literally flush away our most precious resource? Why did they choose the water closet over the alternatives that were available to them - the Earth Closet and the Air Closet? And was there a Fire Closet too (or was that just the result of that other great Victorian import, the curry?). Helen and Kat are holding their noses and diving in.

Helen Arney is a presenter and comedian, and Dr Kat Arney is a writer and broadcaster who has published a book on genetics.

A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Thu 30 Aug 2018 09:30