Some Interesting Facts About Toilet Paper

Have you ever wondered about toilet paper and who thought of it first? Oh the wonders of toilet paper; what would we be using if we didn’t have it? I have heard the stories of how we take something as simple as toilet paper for granted these days. We don’t even have the Sears catalogues anymore. The dyes they use in magazines and the chemicals that are used on plants would you really want to be patting your derriÃ?¨re with these now. I can just imagine someone grabbing a handful of poison ivy leaves out in the forest. I am sure that there are hunters out there who have to use these measures now and then.

I have researched some interesting facts about toilet paper and what was used for this sensitive subject back in the olden days. Corn cobs, pages from newspapers, sheets from magazines, the Sears’s catalogue, and Farmers Almanac were used in the early American West. Ancient Romans used sponges on ends of sticks kept in jugs of salty water to do their cleanup. It all sounds pretty disgusting doesn’t it? But it happens. In China as early as 875 AD a product was found similar to a paper and was used for such purposes. Chinese Emperors was one of the first that created a yellowish paper made of rice straw in 1393 AD. (

Before that in ancient times people used dried corn cobs, leaves, and straw, grass, fur, sand and mussel shells. In Hawaii coconut shells was used. In England they used discarded sheep’s wool and in India the left hand and water was used. Eskimos used snow and tundra moss. I can just bet the caveman used bones.

The first modern origin of toilet paper was introduced by Joseph Gayette of New York in 1857. He produced the first packaged toilet paper that was sold in single sheets and pre-moistened with aloe. The Scott brothers from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania marketed the first roll of toilet paper in 1867. Thank god for the Scott brothers because I can’t imagine having to use coconut shells or mussel shells. Those had to be painful.

In the early 1880’s the first indoor plumbing was introduced. The Scott Paper Company was too embarrassed to have their name of their product because toilet paper was too sensitive of a subject back then. They would pack it up in carts and sell it to the public without their name on it. Henceforth “Waldolf” toilet tissue was introduced in 1902. The Scott Paper Company purchased all rights to it and the name became the first branded product.

In 1935 Northern Tissue marketed the “Splinter Free” toilet paper. The early paper production sometimes left splinters embedded in the paper products. Well if you think about it where does paper come from? Trees and wood leaves splinters. Today the colored toilet tissue has pretty much phased out because of the dyes creating infections and colored paper doesn’t break down as good as the white in our septic systems. Oh and before I forget; 68% of the population prefer to roll their paper over the top.(

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