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Jun 25, 2010

Toilet Tissue/Paper

Did you know...
Toilet tissue/paper isn't as old as you may think...
Needless to say we have NOT always had Toilet tissue/paper; and it was some time before it was invented even though people saw the need for such an item long before it became a household necessity. So what did people use before toilet paper??? First it was the hand,(gross!) grass, (that's a little better) leaves, (much better if they were soft) corn cobs and even rocks.(that must have been hard) The ancient Greeks used stones and pieces of clay; ancient Romans used sponges on the ends of sticks, that were kept in jugs filled with salty water. Mid-easterners commonly used the left hand, which is supposedly still considered unclean in the Arabian region. But as time goes on we started to realize how much easier and more hygienic a piece of paper could be, so enters the newspaper; Newspapers could be found in almost all "Outhouses". Then there was the Farmers Almanac, which even had a hole in it so it could be hung in the outhouse just for that purpose. Then of course there was the Sears and Roebuck catalog. The catalog became the "king" of the outhouse, until they started making the pages glossy, but by then we had toilet paper. So who invented this much needed and used item? Some say it was Joseph Gayetty who produced the first commercially available toilet paper in the U.S. in 1857. The tissue was moistened with aloe and sold in packages of 500 individual sheets, each one with a watermark bearing Gayetty’s name. It was sold as a medical product, but was not very successful. Three brothers, Edward, Clarence, and Thomas Scott began selling their toilet paper from a push cart in Philadelphia in 1867. It seems the paper was in much demand so in 1879, Edward and Clarence Scott founded the Scott Paper Company (the third brother, Thomas, went into the publishing business instead). Scott toilet paper was sold in rolls that were, apparently, unperforated in the early years. In addition, the company did not market their products under the Scott brand at that time. By 1883, at least one patent had been issued for a toilet paper roll holder that had a serrated cutting blade. The Albany Perforated Wrapping (A.P.W.) Paper Company was selling rolled, perforated (and medicated) toilet paper by 1885—and possibly as early as 1877.
A 1935 ad for Northern Tissue boasted that it was “splinter-free,” but this does not suggest, in any way, that all toilet paper prior to theirs had splinters!
The first two-ply toilet paper was sold by St. Andrew’s Paper Mill in England in 1942. But no matter who invented toilet paper, Gayetty or Scott, We give thanks. We now have a choice of 1 ply, 2 ply, or 3 ply toilet paper, with aloe or other softeners, or even moist wipes. So now you may ask who invented the toilet???


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