Can you name something that you use every day and take for granted? No we aren’t talking about your phone, computer, car, or kitchen. We are talking about toilet paper! While you might not think too much of it (other than when you find yourself in the bathroom with an empty roll), it hasn’t been around all that long. While you and your parents enjoyed the luxury of soft, quilted, disposable rolls, commercialized toilet paper wasn’t around until 1857.
While there have been historical accounts of cultures using things similar to what we would consider toilet paper in functional terms, it was Joseph Gayetty who is credited with having invented the modern roll. Well, it didn’t actually come in the form of a roll when it was first released to the public. Rather, the modern toilet paper came in flat sheets, all stacked upon one another like a package of napkins.
Soon after, toilet paper wasn’t seen as something for practicality, but also for style. Many colors of toilet paper were sold between the 1920’s and into the 1960’s. Many people would purchase colors like light green, light purple, blue, lavender, various shades of pink, and even yellow to match the décor the their bathrooms. While this was a popular thing at the time, colored toilet paper lost its popularity. The last company to sell colored toilet tissue was Scott, which is still one of the largest toilet paper manufacturers in the country. Unfortunately, the company nixed their colored toilet paper line in 2004.
Over the years, people have used toilet paper for reasons other than its intended use. For instance, many women began blotting their lipstick with toilet paper in order to give their lips a more matte look. Also, many people have fashioned themselves “ear plugs” out of toilet tissue when in need of a way to muffle outside noise.
We are confident to say that toilet paper will be around for the rest of time. Whether or not it takes different forms in the future, or whether or not colored toilet paper makes a comeback, we will always find a use for it in our everyday lives.