The History of Toilet Paper
Throughout history, humans have gone to the bathroom even when bathrooms were a large rock that you would hide behind. While the elimination process hasn't changed much over the years, what comes after certainly has. People used to clean themselves up with what ever was at arms reach; leaves, sticks, rocks and even wood shavings! The ancient Greeks used clay and stone where as the Romans used sponges and salt water. The idea of a commercial product designed solely for elimination clean up came from about 150 years ago, right here in the U.S.A.
The first product to ever hit the market was invented by a New York entrepreneur named Joseph Gayetty. He created a hemp based sheet infused with aloe vera dispensed from a box similar to tissue boxes. He claimed that his product helped prevent hemorrhoids and was so proud he has his name printed on every sheet. The problem that Gayetty has run into was Americans were so accustom to wiping with the Sears Roebuck catalog that they saw no need to spend money on something that come in the mail for free. This hindered the history of toilet until it took its next leap forward in 1890.
Two brothers named Clarence and E. Irvin Scott popularized the concept of toilet paper on a roll. The Scott's brand became more successful than Gayetty's medicated wipes, in part because they sold to hotels and drugstores. Gayetty faced such an uphill battle because Americans were so embarrassed by bodily functions. In fact the Scott's brother were so ashamed of the nature of their work that they didn't take proper credit fr their innovation until 1902 almost 20 years later!
Toilet Paper continues to develop, but it's important to look back at those times that toilet paper wasn't so pretty and reflect upon our predecessors, and ask "How did they accomplish all that stuff without ever getting to enjoy the go?"