The Stinky History of the Toilet Paper

We may think of it as vital now, but not too long ago, humans survived every single day without toilet paper.

In the 14th century sheets of perfumed toilet paper were made for the Chinese Emperor, but aside from that, most people used hemp, wool, lace, and poor people used leaves, hay, rocks, seaweed, husks, or anything lying around.

The first modern toilet paper was invented in 1857 by Joseph C. Gayetty, and was softened with aloe gel and Gayetty’s name was printed on every sheet. Made from hemp, this medicated paper was sold in packages of flat sheets.

In 1871, Zeth Wheeler patented rolled and perforated toilet paper. Then in 1879, Scott brothers founded the Scott Paper Company and was the first toilet paper sold in rolls.

A slew of companies followed with their own competing products, making promises of being splinter-free, soft, strong, scented, and eventually biodegradable.

According to the World Health Organization, 2.3 billion people are currently living without a toilet, and another 10 percent of the people meet their toilet needs out in the open.

It was estimated only 39 percent of the world’s population use a toilet connected to a safe sewerage system. It is believed that 10 percent of the world’s population consumed food that has been smeared in wastewater.