Alright, why am I writing about toilet paper? Is there anyone who hasn't had it pop up numerous times on Facebook the old patent showing which way the toilet paper roll goes?

I was curious and thought I'd see if I could dig up more on this Seth Wheeler and his toilet paper holder patent. There's some pretty strange stuff coming up. Wheeler was associated with the A.P.W. Paper Company of Albany, New York. The first patent for toilet paper was issued in 1871 and with that the company was started in 1877. The patent expired in 1888 and that opened the door for competitors. I should point out that the patent was actually for a product called 'perforated wrapping paper'. You didn't use words like toilet back then.

In 1889 Wheeler invented a type of toilet paper holder that was actually a very complicated cabinet where you would cut the sheet off, sort of like the old paper cutters we used to use. For a number of years that was the toilet paper holder. Not something you attached or built into the wall but an actual little container or cabinet you'd set on the floor.

In 1906 toilet paper by A.P.W. Paper was described as a sheet of fine paper along with a sheet of cheaper coarse paper that was held together by the way it was folded. Sounds sort of like Kleenex.

Here's the part that's surprising. The company in 1922 offered two colors of toilet paper. They were Pure White and are you ready? Fort Orange! Orange toilet paper? An ad stated that $2.00 would get you a carton of 4 rolls or a total of 1,000 sheets per roll. And guess what? It stated this would be enough for an average family in a year. 4 rolls? I checked today's rolls and they average a 1,000 sheets as well. Could your family make it a whole year on 4 rolls of toilet paper. Surprising.

As a side note, I read that Northern Tissue claimed in 1935 to have perfected the first splinter free toilet paper. Really?

The company was bought out in 1956.  As far as whether the paper rolls from the top or the bottom, I really don't give a rip as I have more important things to do in the bathroom. Lots of toothpaste tubes, deodorant cans and such to read.

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