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.