The Bizarre History
July 20, 2020
of Toilet Paper
Imagine you’re sitting on the toilet, going about your business. You reach for a piece of toilet paper and *gasp* there is none left! It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Today toilet paper is one of those household items most humans take for granted, except when we run out and are left hanging on the toilet seat. A long time ago in a land faraway, toilet paper didn’t exist and humans were left to fend for themselves when it came to wiping their behinds. You may be wondering how people could have possibly lived, and the answers may surprise you.
Wiping in the Medieval Times
Humans have been wiping their butts for ions. Before toilet paper was even a concept, people just used whatever was available to wipe. This included items such as hay, wood shavings, corn cobs, and even iron cables. Ancient Romans used a sponge soaked in salt water that was shared by everyone. The wealthier families would use lace, doilies, and other more quality fabrics.
The concept of using paper to wipe dates back to medieval China. Chinese emperors began using long sheets of paper, and paper became popular for bathroom duties. When newspapers started to become available in the 15th century, paper became a more common wiping method for all socio-economic classes.
The Evolution of Commercial Toilet Paper
1857: Joseph Gayetty designed the first packaged wiping product. Packaged in Kleenex-like boxes, the sheets were made from hemp and infused with aloe. At first, not many Americans wanted to hop on the bandwagon. They simply wanted to use the newspapers and catalogs that came in the mail for free!
1871: Seth Wheeler from Albany was the first to create the toilet paper roll sold by Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company.
1879: The Scott Brothers arguably popularized the concept of paper on a roll, and had an idea to customize rolls for every merchant-customer they had. After this they began bulk packages of small rolls and sheets. The Scott Paper Company began making toilet paper under its own brand name in 1896.
1928: Charmin took a different marketing approach by using a feminine logo and an image of a beautiful woman to conjure feelings of comfort and softness. This was one of the catalysts to transform toilet paper into a household item rather than a medicinal product.
1935: Splinter free tissue was created by Northern Tissue. The traditional paper-making procedures failed to remove small splinters from the finished product, but Northern Tissue created the process called “linenizing” which allowed for softer paper to wipe with.
1942: The first 2-ply tissue was created by St. Andrew’s Paper Mill.
2015: Bim Bam Boo was born! The first free-and-gentle formula, made free-from major irritants and allergens . Our toxin-free TP is made of fast-growing bamboo, a regenerative grass with anti-microbial qualities. Bim Bam Boo tree free TP is revolutionary for your health, and our earth.
Toilet Paper in the 21st Century
The United States spends $6 billion per year on toilet paper, which is more than any other nation. While this may delight the executives behind the toilet paper industry, it is causing deforestation. Over 27,000 trees are cut down daily, solely for toilet paper manufacturing.
So how can you help? Make the switch to bamboo! Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable alternative to tree products because of its fast-paced renewing properties. While it takes trees up to 30 years to reach maturity, it takes a bamboo plant 3-4 months. When you switch to bamboo toilet paper, you’re helping preserve our earth’s forests, and all the ecosystems that depend on them. Try Bim Bam Boo today!