As far as we can tell, it was on this day, August 26, 580, the Chinese invented toilet paper.
To truly appreciate this invention, we need to understand what life was like before toilet paper. Before this soft and sensitive wonder came into being, people used water, leaves, corn cobs, sticks, and stones. I read another account that claims people used broken pieces of pottery! Ouch!!!!
Now that we’ve gotten some pre-TP background, we’ll never take this amazing invention for granted again. Americans spend about four-billion dollars per-year on toilet paper, each person using between 35-50 pounds of it per year.
According to the Boston Standard Company, toilet paper was introduced in the U.S. by Joseph Gayetty, 1857. The paper came in flat squares embossed with Gayetty’s name. That name has been places!
Toilet paper rolls came out in 1883; the patent was held by Seth Wheeler. See the attached photo – it solves the ancient argument as to how to install it correctly!
Later, to satisfy the sophisticated user, colored toilet paper was invented.
But there are other uses for toilet paper for those of us who aren’t so sophisticated. Not only has toilet paper made our lives more comfortable, it has also provided some of us rascals with hours of devious fun. Toilet paper has been used to decorate weddings; and who hasn’t littered your best friend’s house and trees before a big High School football game? I remember one morning my parents waking up to strings of toilet paper hanging off the tree in my front yard. Oh, I got revenge. I think in the summer of 84 alone my friends and I dispensed about 1000 rolls in the trees of our friends’ houses.
Happy National Toilet Paper day! And wives, considering what life was like before toilet paper, cut your husband some slack the next time he doesn’t replace the roll! He might still be recovering from the broken pottery! Never take for granted this awesome invention.