The Fascinating and Surprising History of Toilet Paper

It’s hard to imagine a world without toilet paper. This essential item has been a part of our lives for centuries, and its history is full of surprises.

Who would have thought that something as mundane as toilet paper would become such an important part of our culture? In this guide, we’ll explore the fascinating and surprising history of this essential household item.

Who Invented Toilet Paper?

The first toilet paper roll was invented in 1857 by Joseph Gayetty. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of 500 flat sheets, and was advertised as a way to “cure the piles.”

The toilet paper we use today is much different from Gayetty’s Medicated Paper. It is made from wood pulp, and is much softer. Today, there are many different brands and types of toilet paper available on the market.

The Origins of Toilet Paper

The origins of toilet paper are actually quite mysterious. The first recorded use of toilet paper was in China in the 14th century. However, it is unclear who invented it, or how it became such a common practice.

One popular theory is that Chinese Emperor Zhu Yu wrote a book called Toilet Paper for the Palace, which described how to make and use toilet paper. This theory is supported by the fact that Zhu Yu’s book was published in 1393, which was around the same time that toilet paper became popular in China.

Another theory suggests that toilet paper was first used by the wealthy and elite class of society. It wasn’t until much later that it became common practice for everyone to use toilet paper.

The Dawn of Toilet Paper

The birth of toilet paper can be traced back to ancient China. In the early days of Chinese civilization, people used pieces of cloth, stone, or their own hands to clean themselves after going to the bathroom.

Around the year 1391, a Chinese emperor named Zhu Yuanzhang issued an edict that banned the use of money to buy toilet paper. He believed that using money to buy toilet paper was a waste of resources.

As a result, people had to find other ways to clean themselves. They used sticks, leaves, stones, and even their own hands. In the late 1800s, the first toilet paper rolls were invented. Since then, toilet paper has become an essential part of our lives. It’s hard to imagine a world without it.

The Rise of Toilet Paper

The rise in the popularity of toilet paper can be traced back to the late 1800s. At this time, there were many different types of toilet paper available on the market.

One of the most popular brands was Gayetty’s Medicated Paper. This type of toilet paper was advertised as a way to “cure the piles.”

Other popular brands included The American Toilet Paper, and The Imperial. By the early 1900s, toilet paper had become an essential part of daily life for many people.

The History of Toilet Paper in Pop Culture

Toilet paper history has been featured in many different forms of pop culture. One of the most famous examples is the “Charmin Bears.” These commercials aired on television in the United States from 1971 to 2006. They featured a family of bears who enjoyed using Charmin toilet paper.

Toilet paper has also been mentioned in popular songs. In the song “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones, lead singer Joey Ramone famously sings, “Toilet paper, I need toilet paper.”

Charmin America experienced its first toilet paper shortage in 1973 due to a nationwide toilet paper shortage. This led to a decrease in sales, and the company was forced to lay off workers.

The History of Toilet Paper in Art

Toilet paper has also been used as a medium for art. In 2007, artist Maurizio Cattelan created a sculpture called “America.” The sculpture featured a roll of toilet paper with the words “God save America” printed on it.

In 2014, artist Illma Gore created a painting of Donald Trump using toilet paper. The painting was titled “Make America Great Again.”

What Did People Use Before Toilet Paper?

As mentioned above, people used a variety of materials to clean themselves before toilet paper was invented. Water was the most common method, but it wasn’t always effective.

Leaves were also used, but they were often rough and could cause irritation. Moss was softer, but it wasn’t always easy to find. Snow could be used in a pinch, but it was cold and often dirty.

Corn cobs were a popular choice, but they could be quite uncomfortable. In the absence of any other alternative, some people even used their hands.

Does Toilet Paper Go Soft?

In the early 20th century, toilet paper was quite rough. It was made from wood pulp and other harsh materials. This often causes irritation, especially for people with sensitive skin.

In 1928, Northern Tissue Company released a new type of toilet paper that was much softer. This new toilet paper was made from pure cellulose, and quickly became popular.

Is Toilet Paper Used Everywhere?

No, not everyone uses toilet paper. In many parts of the world, water is the preferred method for cleaning after going to the bathroom. This includes countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.

In some cultures, toilet paper is considered to be unclean. In India, for example, people use their left hand and water to clean themselves after using the bathroom. Even in certain places in America, bidets are becoming an increasingly popular alternative.

The Rise of Toilet Paper Alternatives

In recent years, there has been a rise in the use of toilet paper alternatives. Here are some popular modern toilet paper alternatives:

1. Bidets

A bidet is a device that is used to clean oneself after going to the bathroom. Bidets are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. This is due in part to the fact that they are more environmentally friendly than toilet paper.

2. Bum Gun

A bum gun is a device that is used to clean oneself after going to the bathroom. Bum guns are popular in Asia. They are less common in the United States, but their popularity is increasing.

3. Family Cloth

Family cloth is a type of reusable toilet paper. It is made from fabric, and can be washed and reused. Family cloth is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to disposable toilet paper.

4. Wipes

Wipes are another popular alternative to toilet paper. Wipes are often made from fabric or paper, and can be used multiple times.

What Does Two-Ply Toilet Paper Mean?

Two-ply toilet paper means that there are two layers of paper. This makes the toilet paper stronger, and more absorbent.

This type of toilet paper is often more expensive than traditional toilet paper. Its popularity has decreased in recent years due to the rise of toilet paper alternatives.

Paper Toilet Purposes

So, what is toilet paper used for? Toilet paper is most commonly used for wiping after going to the bathroom. However, it can also be used for other purposes, such as blowing your nose or cleaning up small spills.

The purpose of toilet paper has been debated throughout history. Some believe that it is only to be used for wiping, while others believe that it can be used for anything.

Why Spend Money on Toilet Paper?

Toilet paper is a necessity for many people. It is an affordable and effective way to clean oneself after going to the bathroom.

Toilet paper is also convenient. It is easy to find, and can be used anywhere. Spending money on toilet paper is worth it for many people. In fact, it’s hard to even imagine life without toilet paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the Scott Paper Company owns the Charmin brand. The company has owned Charmin since 1957.

Splinter-free toilet paper is made from a type of wood pulp that is less likely to cause irritation. This type of toilet paper is often more expensive than traditional toilet paper.

No, Andrew’s Paper Mill does not make toilet paper. The company specializes in tissue paper, and other types of products. This includes paper towels, napkins, and facial tissue.

Yes, Hoberg Paper Company makes toilet paper. The company has been in business since 1928, and produces a variety of paper products. This includes toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins.

No, it is not right to hoard toilet paper. Hoarding toilet paper can lead to shortages for other people. It is important to only buy what you need.

Toilet paper revenues go to the company that produces the toilet paper. The revenue is used to cover the cost of production, and to make a profit. Toilet paper companies use the revenue to pay their employees, invest in new products, and advertising.

The history of toilet paper is both fascinating and surprising. From its humble beginnings as a cleaning cloth, to its modern incarnation as a bathroom necessity, toilet paper has come a long way. Who knows what the future holds for this essential product? One thing is for sure: it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.