Who Invented Toilet Paper
Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States.
Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of
flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor’s name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline “The greatest
necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.”
Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which
eventually were in common usage in that country, in 1883. Moist toilet paper was first introduced in the United Kingdom by Andrex in the 1990s, and in the United States by Kimberly-Clark in 2001 (in lieu of bidets which are rare in those countries.) It is designed to clean better than dry toilet paper after defecation, and may be useful for women during menstruation. Twenty-six billion rolls of toilet paper, worth about US$2.4 billion, are sold yearly in America alone. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita a year.
Toilet paper is a soft tissue paper product primarily used for the cleaning of the anus to remove fecal material after defecation
or to remove remaining droplets of urine from the genitals after urination, and acts as a layer of protection for the hands during this process. It is typically sold as a long strip of perforated paper wrapped around a paperboard core, to be stored in a
dispenser adjacent to a toilet. Most modern toilet paper in the developed world is designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas
some other bathroom and facial tissues are not. Toilet paper can be one-, two- or three-ply, or even thicker, meaning that it is
either a single sheet or multiple sheets placed back-to-back to make it thicker, softer, stronger and more absorbent.
The use of paper for such hygiene purposes has been recorded in China in the 6th century, with specifically manufactured toilet
paper being mass-produced in the 14th century. Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for
roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.
Different names, euphemisms and slang terms are used for toilet paper in countries around the world, including “bumf,” “bum wad,”
“loo roll/paper,” “bog roll,” “toilet roll,” “dunny roll/paper,” “bathroom/toilet tissue,” “TP,” “arsewipe,” and just “tissue.”