The last housing trivia post was about who invented the first flush toilet, so I felt it was only fitting to unravel the mystery of who invented toilet paper. Heck, what good is a toilet if you don’t have a fluffy roll of “TP” to go with it.
First, I was surprised that there were several different terms used around the world for toilet paper: bum wad, loo roll/paper, bog roll, toilet roll, and dunny roll/paper. Second, there is a plethora of scents, plys, and colors; you name it and it’s probably available. However, there is almost one thing universal with every roll, and that’s the cardboard cylinder.
So who invented toilet paper? Well…..It was the Chinese! They are given credit for having the first recorded use of toilet paper in 589 AD. This really surprised me, and in the 14th century it was recorded that they produced 720,000 sheets of the ole “bum wad.”
Joseph Gayetty is credited for inventing the first packaged toilet paper in 1857, which was sold in flat sheets until around the 1920’s. Rolled toilet paper, the type we wouldn’t be without today, was invented around 1880 by Clarence Scott, who along with others started the Scott Paper Company.