Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Let's Talk People Paper...!

I know that we discuss a number of different things here at the Hermit's, but this is different even for me!

I may have approached this subject before, but it's definitely worth another look. After all this is a subject that touches us all (no pun intended)! And if nothing else, toilet paper has a very interesting history! Read on and you'll see what I mean.

Toilet paper, in case you're wondering, was in use in China as early as the fourteenth century and it was made in 2′ x 3′ sheets. Everywhere else, and in China before then, people made use of what their environment offered. Leaves, mussel shells, corncobs were among the more common options. The Romans (what have they ever done for us!) used a sponge attached to the end of a stick and dipped in salt water. And yes, as you may have heard, in certain cultures the left hand was employed in the task of scatological hygiene, and in these cultures the left hand retains a certain stigma to this day.

Until the late-nineteenth century, Americans opted for discarded reading material. It's not clear if this is why Americans still today often take reading material into the bathroom, or if the practice of reading on the toilet yielded a eureka moment subsequently. In any case, magazines, newspapers, and almanacs were all precursors to the toilet paper as we know it today. It has been claimed that the Sears and Roebuck catalog was also known as the "Rears and Sorebutt" catalog. The Farmer's Almanac even came with a hole punched in it so that it could be hung and the pages torn off with ease.

Toilet paper in its present form first appeared in 1857 thanks to Joseph Gayetty. It was thoughtfully moistened with aloe. In 1879, the Scott Paper Company was founded by brothers Edward and Clarence Scott. They sold toilet paper in an unperforated roll. By 1885, perforated rolls were being sold by Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company.

In 1935, Northern Tissue advertised its toilet paper to be "splinter-free." Apparently, early production techniques managed to embed splinters in the paper. Three cheers for innovation! And finally, in 1942, two-ply toilet paper was introduced in St. Andrew's Paper Mill in the UK. An odd development considering wartime austerity and rationing. Speaking of rationing, the Virtual Toilet Paper Museum (you're learning all sorts of things in this post) reports that the first toilet paper shortage in the US took place in 1973. Presumably, it was overshadowed by the oil embargo.

The point is that all technology has a history and that what we now take to be innovative and revolutionary will one day become ordinary and commonplace. This, of course, borders on cliche. The key, however, is to remember that before any technology became a naturalized and taken-for-granted part of society there were choices to be made. Forgetting that technology has a history is a way of refusing responsibility.

This is an excerpt from an article I found at Gizmodo! You can read the rest of the article there!

Did you notice that there has already been a shortage of the T.P. supplies before, and we were not even in an emergency situation! maybe that means that those of us that prepare for the future are NOT necessarily paranoid, right?

Coffee on the patio this morning. It's thundering, but it's not likely to rain.


Sixbears said...

Good news, the local TP mill reopened and is hiring.

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Thanks for the info - TP is just one of the many items we take for granted.
Everyone should always have a good supply. It's one of the top prepper items!
Coffee on the patio is fine - I'll bring ginger snaps for a change!

B said...

Bubba -

When the hubby and I married, he said the first reule of the house was to NEVER run out of toilet paper. We now use 2 different kinds, his and hers, but at least there's always some kind around!

Fun post today - Big Hugs -

Momlady said...

I never knew the history. Thank you. Luckily I never had to use the S/R catalog in the privy.

linda m said...

I knew about the "left hand" thing but the rest of the article was very interesting. My grandparents always mentioned the Sears catalog in the out house. I don't think my behind would have survived corn cobs or catalogs. I keep my house well stocked with TP and it better be soft.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I remember that shortage in 1973. I think it started as a rumor and then everyone bought up all the TP in the stores and then it became a restocking and delivery problem. My Father-in-law who owned a business at the time gave us a case of TP to hold us over. Never wanted to use a catalog (grin).

JOJO said...

Can you imagine putting any of that stuff in todays modern flush sytems or sewers. Disaster for sure. Of course they had out houses. Just dig a new one.

Coffee with my special friend is good anywhere. :)

treesong said...

While looking for something else yesterday, deep in a closet I found a 12 pack of TP. It was like Christmas! Always try to keep 6-12 12-packs around but lately had fewer. Enjoyed your post!

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
That is good news for all of us! Not only for the jobs, but for the continued t.p. supply!

Thanks for the info and for dropping by today!

Hey Phyllis...
Sure don't want to run out!

Those ginger snaps sound pretty good to me! Bring 'em on!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Sis...
Sounds like a pretty good rule to me! I didn't know they made a his and hers t.p.!

As long as you have some kind around, that's the important thing!

Thanks as always for dropping by today!

Hey Momlady...
Believe me, you haven't missed a thing! Not the most effective way to go!(no pun intended)

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Linda...
Believe it or not, I didn't know about the left hand thing!

Learn something new every day!

Thanks for the visit!

Hey Dizzy...
Sometimes knowing the right folks can pay off big time!

I hear ya on not wanting to use the catalogs!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey JoJo...
Yep, the ol' out houses did serve their purpose! Sure didn't smell very good, though!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Hey Treesong...
Good to see you again!

Finding some extra t.p. is just like a gift, just like you said! Good find!

Thanks for coming over, Tree!

Ted Webb said...

Try to figure this out HJ Romney's $100 million IRA is remarkable in its size. Even under the most generous assumptions, Romney would have been restricted to annual contributions of $30,000 while he worked at Bain. How does this grow to $100 million?

John M said...

Thanks for this interesting post, I enjoyed it.