Toilet Paper History

Toilet Paper History | Inventor Seth Wheeler

For you toilet paper historians out there, you may be wondering how the perforated toilet paper roll came to be. Here is a toilet paper history lesson to help you solve the mystery:

According to the U.S Patent office, entrepreneur Seth Wheeler was the first to patent rolled and perforated toilet paper. The initial patent was issued by the U.S. Patent office July 25th, 1871 under Patent number 117,355.

Wheelers first toilet paper business, the Rolled Wrapping Paper Company, was founded in 1874 but the company struggled financially. His business venture wasn’t successful until he formed the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company. The new company rolled out a new product (yes a blatant pun), the Perforated Toilet Paper Roll. This became the standard in the industry, and remains so today.

Toilet Paper History Timeline

1391: Long before Wheeler’s invention came to fruition, large 2 FT x 3 FT sheets of toilet paper were produced for use by the Emperor of China.
1857: Single, loose, flat, sheets of paper are mass produced in a factory owned by Joseph Gayetty.
1871: Seth Wheeler (a.k.a. Zeth) patents the perforated toilet paper roll.
1872: Kimberly Clark and Company was formed. This is one of the giants in the industry still today.
1874: Wheeler formed his first toilet paper company the Rolled Paper Company which struggled financially.
1877: Wheeler’s business, The Rolled Paper Company, was reorganized and became the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company.
1879: The Scott Paper Company began selling rolled toilet paper. Scott is still a big player in the industry today.
1885: The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for the manufacturing and packaging process of toilet paper to Oliver Hewlett Hicks. The patent was subsequently revoked in 1894 in favor of Wheeler’s initial patent of 1871.
1891: The U.S. Patent Office issues another patent No 459,516 to Wheeler for an improvement in the serration design so the sheets will separate freely to reduce waste.
1935: The Northern Tissue Company markets its brand of toilet paper as “Splinter-Free”. Splinters in toilet paper? Sounds like the invention of the Bidet couldn’t come soon enough!!!
1942: The St. Andrew’s Paper Mill of England introduces the two-ply toilet paper which is stronger and softer than single ply paper.

For more information on toilet paper history and other tidbits read these fascinating articles. If you are searching for a little toilet humor read these stories.

If you want to eliminate toilet paper from your household altogether, perhaps it’s time for a Spaloo Bidet Toilet Seat. The next phase in Toilet Paper History, as the production of toilet paper diminishes.