Scrunching or folding? (1857)

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

1857 -

Toilet paper. Itís one of those things that seem to have existed forever. But thatís not true of course. At least someone must have been the first to sell it. Those credits go to Joseph Gayetty. He introduced the first modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States, September 19, 1857. It was sold in packages of flat sheets and was called Gayettyís Medicated Paper. It even had a watermark on every sheet with the inventorís name.

First use of paper
Itís not the first time in history that toilet paper was mentioned though. Paper itself had been known since the 2nd century BC, but only as wrapping and padding material. In 589 AD a Chinese scholar official wrote that he didnít want to use paper with quotations for toilet purposes. Later an Arab traveller would describe that the Chinese Ďdo not was themselves with water, but only wipe with paperí.

A sponge on a stick
Throughout history cleaning after toilet use is described. A sponge on a stick did the trick in ancient Rome. Elsewhere rich people used wool or lace while less wealthy people had to help themselves with their hands or grass.

360 trivial fact
Nowadays a frequently asked question is Ďdo you scrunch or fold your toilet paper?í Itís even supposed to tell us something about personality. Research tells us that 68% of toilet paper users tend to fold and 15% tend to scrunch. Leaving 17 % that tend to... scrunch fold?


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