Toilet paper is something that most of us take for granted. It is an absolute necessity nowadays for proper hygiene. But where did the toilet paper come from and originate? Believe it or not, toilet paper has a relatively short history of innovation in the modern world. Not quite as short as the glow in the dark toilet seat, but still pretty short. This is the story of the toilet paper that you have probably never heard.
Origins of the Toilet Paper
The story of the toilet paper begins in the 2nd century BC in China. The Chinese invented a sort of wrapping and padding material that they used and paper, and it is believed that this paper was used as toilet paper as well. By the 6th century AD, toilet paper was widely used in China. The first modern toilet paper was produced around 1391 for the Chinese Emperor. The sheets of toilet paper were even perfumed. In the late 15th century, toilet paper became widely available, but the modern toilet paper was not mass manufactured until the end of 19th century.
Toilet Paper Goes Commercial
The first commercially packaged toilet paper was created by Joseph C. Gayetty in 1857. The toilet papers he made were flat, loose, sheets of paper. He later founded the Gayetty Firm for all of the toilet paper production in New Jersey. The first factory-made toilet paper that he produced was "The Therapeutic Paper". These toilet papers were medicated with aloe and Gayetty named it "Gayetty's Medicated Paper". Gayetty's name was printed on each sheet of his toilet paper, but his invention eventually failed.
Innovators of the Toilet Paper Industry
Three men; Edward Irvin, Thomas Seymour, and Clarence Wood Scott, began to sell some type of toilet paper in 1867 in Philadelphia. In 1879, the Scott brothers founded the company "The Scott Paper Company." The company's toilet paper was the first toilet paper to be sold in rolls. The Scott Paper Company made a Waldorf brand toilet paper roll in 1890.
Perforated Toilet Paper
Zeth Wheeler patented perforated toilet paper in 1871. The Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company was founded in 1877 by Wheeler. The company began to sell the standard perforated toilet paper in 1897. A British businessman named Walter Alcock also created toilet paper on a roll in 1879. He was the first one to use the perforated toilet roll instead of the flat sheets that were more common. Toilet paper began selling in 1880 by the British Perforated Paper Company. This toilet paper was being sold in boxes of individual squares. By 1885, Oliver Hewlett Hicks patented his own package of toilet paper and his unique manufacturing process.
The Expansion of the Greatest Toilet Paper Company
In 1896, Irvin Scott's son, Arthur Scott, joined his father's company, the Scott Paper Company. The company became the largest toilet paper company in the world. Waldorf brand represented 64% of the company's total case sale in 1921.
Modernizing the Toilet Paper
The German, Has Klenk became the first toilet paper roll salesman in Europe in 1928. In 1942 England, the toilet paper became softer. St. Andrew's Paper Mill started to sell the first two-ply toilet paper. In many countries, the two-ply paper is now the standard. The splinter-free toilet paper was invented by Northern Tissue in 1935. The first toilet paper shortage in American history was experienced in 1973. Johnny Carson made a joke in 1973 that scared many consumers into stockpiling toilet paper supplies.At a certain time in history, talk about toilet paper was avoided at all costs, but people had a desire to increase their personal hygiene, thus allowing toilet paper to fit into the consumer market. The toilet paper industry today is humongous. A good toilet paper is the perfect compliment to a new and modern glow in the dark toilet seat.