Toilet Paper Takes Center Stage Amid Coronavirus OutbreakHistorians in the News
tags: hygiene, consumer goods
In olden times, sailors used the frayed end of a rope dipped in salt water.
Rural folk, legend says, once used corn cobs hung in outhouses.
Stones, moss, currency, newspapers, catalogues, almanacs, literature and government proclamations served until, by most accounts, a New York City inventor named Joseph C. Gayetty came up with the first commercial toilet paper around 1857.
It was “Gayetty’s Medicated Paper.” Made of hemp, it had the inventor’s name proudly watermarked on each sheet.
Now the novel coronavirus and consumer panic-buying have made Gayetty’s creation scarce, and prompted a look back at the history of toilet paper and its predecessors.
comments powered by Disqus
- 50 Years Later, Remembering Pong's Success
- The Origins of the "White Elephant" Party
- A Stranger's Gift: Family Photos from Before the Holocaust
- New School's Adjuncts Demand Better Pay in Increasingly Acrimonious Strike
- The Cole Family Land in Virginia Holds Incredible Uranium Wealth. Do Descendants of People Enslaved There Deserve a Share?
- The Fall of the American Fraudster?
- Texas Prof Wins John Lewis Award for Work Recovering History of Anti-Mexican Border Violence
- The Racist History of Family Separation, and the Lawyers Challenging It
- Behind America's Relationship to Exercise
- Study: Ashkenazi Jews Have Become More Genetically Similar over Time