COLUMN: T.P. – A Hot Commodity These Days, Part I | Opinion

When we rolled into 2020, who would have imagined that toilet paper would become such a valued commodity in only a few weeks’ time? My goodness, have we all gone crazy or what??!?

Well, whatever the case, I thought this might be a good time to share an e-mail attachment about toilet paper that I received several weeks ago from a very dear friend. Whether this particular list of toilet paper “facts” is accurate or not, I do not know for sure. However, one thing I do know – it is interesting/entertaining and even amusing. Hope you enjoy reading it. (There was no original source to whom I could give credit.)


• The first recorded use of toilet paper was in 6th Century China.

• By the 14th Century, the Chinese government was mass-producing it.

• Packaged toilet paper wasn’t sold in the United States until 1857.

• Joseph Gayety, the man who introduced packaged toilet paper to the U. S. had his name printed on every sheet.

• Global toilet paper demand uses nearly 30,000 trees every day.

• That’s 10 million trees a year.

• It wasn’t until 1935 that a manufacturer was able to promise splinter-free toilet paper.

• Seven percent of Americans admit to stealing rolls of toilet paper in hotels.

• Americans use an average of 8.6 sheets of toilet paper per trip to the bathroom.

• The average roll has 333 sheets.

• Historically, what you used to wipe depended on your income level.

• In the Middle Ages, they used something called a gompf stick which was just an actual stick used to scrape.

• Wealthy Romans used wool soaked in rose water and French royalty used lace.

• Other things that were used before toilet paper included: Hay, corn cobs, sticks, stones, sand, moss, hemp, wool, husks, fruit peels, ferns, sponges, seashells, knotted ropes and broken pottery (ouch!).

• 70-75% of the world still doesn’t use toilet paper because it is too expensive or there is not sufficient plumbing.

• In many Western European countries, bidets are seen as more effective and preferable to toilet paper.

• Colored toilet paper was popular in the United States until the 1940s.

• The reason toilet paper disintegrates so quickly when wet is that the fibers used to make it are very short.

• On the International Space Station, they still use regular toilet paper, but it has to be sealed in special containers and compressed.

• During Desert Storm, the United States Army used TP to camouflage their tanks.

• In 1973, Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage. He said, as a joke, that there was a shortage, which there wasn’t, until everyone believed him and ran out to buy up the supply. It took three weeks for some stores to get more in stock.

Stay tuned for more toilet paper “facts” in Part II of T. P. – A HOT COMMODITY THESE DAYS. You may learn some things you did not know. I did!

Until then, if you need help or encouragement with your downsizing efforts, please get in touch with me. My e-mail address is: [email protected]. Home/business phone is: 903-339-6101. Cell phone is: 903-284-0283. Remember, too, that gift certificates are available.

Lynda (Pike) Litterst, CRS/CSS/Organizer

PURRsonal ReDesigns

Jacksonville, TX 75766

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