When Was Toilet Paper Invented – The history of toilet paper is one of the most curious that exists. It is also known as: toilet paper, toilet paper, toilet roll, toilet paper or toilet paper. Human beings have always had the need to sanitize themselves after relieving themselves. We explain its origin, who invented toilet paper and how it has evolved and expanded.
Origin of toilet paper
To know the origins of toilet paper, we must go back many years in time. It is surprising that it is not easy to talk about things as natural as personal hygiene and hygiene of this part of the body.
Cleaning you after having performed a certain physiological operation, inescapable must necessarily is an ancient fact.
It is known that Heliogabalus drowned by a member of his praetorian guard, in the year 222, with the same sponge that he used to perform the aforementioned functions.
The refined people of the ancient Greco-Latin world used moistened natural sponge for certain purposes, a use that gave this trade great prosperity and boom in Antiquity; scraps of discarded textile were also used.
The Roman historian Petronius says that among refined people, what was most appreciated was the care taken to attend to certain needs…, among them this one.
And as for more distant civilizations, such as the Sumerian civilization or the ancient Egyptians, it is known that there were slaves who attended their masters with basin in hand, in this type of detail. Water was an effective toilet paper, but until not too distant times it was normal to dispense with that hygiene.
Who Invented Toilet Paper
The inventor of toilet paper is the American Joseph Gayetty (1810-1890) in 1857 in New York (USA).
This inventor suffered from hemorrhoids and the newspaper papers that many used caused him pain. That is why he put all his ingenuity into creating the so-called “Gayetty medicated paper”.
It was a paper with a fairly soft touch, which had a thin layer of “medicine” that thus avoided scratches in such a sensitive area of the human anatomy. It was a product sold in packs of individual sheets (the toilet paper roll did not yet exist).
But it was not successful. Although they were among the cleaning products, the stores stopped selling them because no one understood that it was necessary to spend money on such a thing. Especially when you could get hold of outdated newspapers or old catalogs that also offered the possibility of reading.
Who Invented the Toilet Paper Roll?
The inventor of the toilet paper roll is the British businessman Walter Alcock (1871-1947), in 1879 in London.
Alcock, introduced an important novelty: instead of selling toilet paper in individual sheets, it invented the roll of sheets to tear off separating each portion by means of perforated points.
But since he was not allowed to publicize the invention, it did not achieve sales results in a Victorian era, when talking about certain things was difficult.
In the last two decades of the 19th century, New Yorkers Edward and Clarence Scott perfected the toilet paper roll invented in London by Alcock.
The Scots, who had developed a paper-handling factory in Philadelphia, invested in developing the product they always thought would make them millionaires. His idea coincided with the generalization in homes, hotels and restaurants of an important element: showers, bathrooms and toilets in rooms.
Evolution and expansion of toilet paper
At the end of the 19th century, in the decade 1880-1890, houses with toilets were already numerous in large cities.
By then, toilet bowls were competing in America’s celebrated sanitary design salons: in 1884 a one-piece ceramic model called the Pedestal Vase became an object of desire.
The Scott brothers realized that a detail was missing in those aristocratic toilets, something that would facilitate the unspeakable operation that necessarily had to be carried out on them so, according to Clarence Scott, not to leave horrible traces on the fine underwear.
Scott’s rolls were sold in stores in closed, plain paper wrappers with this legend: “For the smallest room in the house,” which is how the toilet was euphemistically referred to, which made advertising difficult.
The taboos around certain things have been very strong over time. Scott knew that publicity was key. His prestige the product as much as he could, calls it in many ways: Waldorf Tissue, alluding to the prestigious New York hotel;
Toilet paper worthy of the Pedestal Vase brand toilet bowl.
Then it was simply called Scott Tissue or tissue paper. One of the most effective claims read: “Scott Paper: fine as old linen.” It didn’t take long for him to realize that it was best to call things by name, albeit intelligently.
How to get it? The following sentence was put into the mouth of a girl: “My friend Leslie’s house is beautiful, Mom, but her toilet paper hurts.” And with that nondescript advertisement, sales multiplied, the product soared and was introduced in all houses.
Its definitive triumph took place in France decades later, coming to be considered a refinement available to all. He was talked about partly because of a funny anecdote:
When the Russian czars visited Paris in 1901, a French foreign department official, driven by his zeal to do things right and his natural desire to please his bosses, ordered the czar’s coat of arms to be printed on the toilet paper that the illustrious guests were to use.
Fortunately, this serious indiscretion was aborted in time. Less lucky are the Bedouin goats, which eat used and unused toilet paper: it is cellulose after all.