When Was the First Toilet Paper Invented and Who Did It?

The toilet paper as we know it was invented in 1857. Joseph Gayetty was both the inventor and the first man to put toilet paper into a commercial context. The product was sold in packages of flat sheets with Joseph’s name on it. It as advertised as the greatest necessity of the age. The price was 50 cents and had 500 sheets per package. However, the actual first toilet paper was created and used thousands of years earlier.

Joseph Gayetty - The man who invented toilet paper
Joseph Gayetty – The man who invented toilet paper

When Was Toilet Paper Really Invented?

The invention of toilet paper dates back to ancient China, sometime around two centuries B.C. However, the first recorded usage comes around 800 years later. In the text of the Chinese scholar Yen Chih-Thui, he wrote in 589, there was a sentence especially related to toilet paper:

Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes

In the 14th century, the Chinese began mass production of toilet paper. Their capacities produced 10 million packages encompassing from 1,000 to 10,000 sheets annually. in 1393, a thousand of perfumed sheets were created especially for the needs of the royal family.

What People Used Before Toilet Paper Was Invented?

For most parts of the world, toilet paper is a fairly young innovation. Before it became a part of the mass consumption people had many alternatives:

  • Greeks used clay.
  • Vikings used wool.
  • Believe it or not, Europeans who are considered for the cradle of modern civilization actually used hand.
  • Followers of the Islamic cultures used the left hand with warm water.
  • Eskimos wiped with snow.
  • The Colonial Americans would pick the center cobs from shelled ears of corn.
  • The Mayans did it with corn cobs.
  • The French invented the first bidet.
  • In the stone age, people even used some kind of stones to clean themselves from the excrements. It is very hard to imagine how did that look like.

Ass time passed books proved to be very valuable for anal hygiene as people were ripping pages and using sheets to wipe.

Why People Tend to Buy and Make Supplies of Toilet Paper During the Crisis?

In modern times running out of toilet paper is considered for one of the highest possible inconveniences. It is why people, during the time of crisis such as COVID-19, tend to make supplies.

Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper, Ultra-Soft, 24 Count

However, in ancient Rome, people set next to each other while releasing their excrements and sometimes even shared a common sponge. As it was already stated, most of the European anal hygiene history was featured by people using palms. The hoarding behavior is based on pure psychology founded on the people’s fear of facing their own poo. It is why they buy it in the same amounts, sometimes even more than food, despite toilet paper not being a survival necessity. While this is the deepest cause there are additional reasons for making reserves.

Covid-19 Toilet Paper Shortage Explained

Covid-19 toilet paper hoarding parody with Mona Liza
Covid-19 toilet paper hoarding parody with Mona Liza

Covid-19 came like thunder from the sky. All of a sudden, people who were entering shops encountered with empty shells where products used to be, including toilet paper. In addition to that, newspapers and social media were overflowed with images implying shortages of basic items. It gave people signal that there is a reason to panic which is why they engaged in uncontrolled buying. Conflicting messages as well as not so clear instructions given from the officials also enhanced madness. But there is also the natural human tendency to be overprepared. When all these factors are added together it is no wonder people even engage in fights to get supplies of their wiping instruments.

What Is Toilet Paper Made Of?

Toilet paper is produced from virgin wood fibers. However, it is also possible to create it from a combination of recycled paper pulp. Every toilet paper is a combination of hard-wood and soft-wood with a ratio of around 2:1. Soft-wood such as pines and firs have long fibers that wrap around each other and give the strength to the paper. Oaks, on the other hand, have short fibers that give softness to the paper. Other materials that are used for its production, include water, chemicals for breaking down the trees into usable fiber, and bleaches.

Things About Toiler Paper You Couldn’t Even Dream Of

Here are some incredible things related to toilet paper:

  • The cost of anal hygiene of an average person during his/her life-time converted in trees is 384. This means that 384 trees must be cut down to produce paper a person is going to use from birth until he/she dies.
  • The daily production of toilet paper is more than 83 000 000 rolls.
  • The toilet paper is the most common object of thievery as 7% of Americans steel it from hotels and motels.
  • Until 1928 people were embarrassed when buying toilet paper. What made the difference was the marketing trick. A beautiful woman was chosen for the cover of the product and lunched its sales sky-high.
  • Toilet paper was used in wars to camouflage tanks.
  • Toilet paper is one of the top products not just when it comes to demand and sales, but also when it comes to fights between shoppers.

The Most Expensive Toilet Paper in the World

The most expensive toilet paper is 3-ply roll and is made of 22 gold carat flakes. Its creation was inspired by golden toilets and bathrooms from Dubai hotels. But despite being unique this toilet paper is still unsold holding the price of 1.3 million dollars. The one who buys it will, as an additional gift, receive a congratulating bottle of champagne. What really is special about this toilet paper is not just that it is made from gold, but also the fact that it produces gold rain. As you roll it up, gold flakes are going to fall on the floor all around your feet. This product produced by Australian company the Toilet Paper Man did not go unnoticed. Many humanitarian organizations criticized such investment reminding the world that 20 000 people die from starvation on a daily bases. Some even threatened with charges but you cannot sue a company for using its money to make what it wants despite the level of madness that goes with it.

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