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Is There a Correct Way to Hang Toilet Paper?

New York inventor Seth Wheeler patented the first perforated toilet paper in 1871, and launched the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Co. six years later. In 1891, he introduced a new roll design, and his patent application included drawings of how the roll of toilet paper should hang from a dispenser. It clearly shows the end of the paper hanging over the front of the roll, not behind it. For people who argue about such things, it was a victory of sorts. According to a Twitter post by researcher Owen Williams, who unearthed the patent materials: “The patent for toilet paper should settle the over vs. under debate.” Perhaps -- but there are plenty of people who would still argue passionately that toilet paper should hang under the roll.

The roll that rocked the world:

  • The first historical record of paper being used for this sort of hygiene dates back to 6th century China. The first mass-produced product was made in the 14th century in what is now the eastern province of Zhejiang.

  • Elsewhere, wealthy folks wiped themselves with wool, lace, or hemp. Less fortunate people resorted to materials ranging from leaves, grass, hay, and moss to corncobs and plant husks.

  • In ancient Rome, a device described as “a sponge on a stick” was commonly used to clean up. After use, the tool was stored in a pail of vinegar.

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More Info: Good Housekeeping

Discuss this Article

anon1000015
Post 2

The one way, a difference in amount of friction/resistance comes into play keeping roll from spinning too freely.

anon1000014
Post 1

If it hangs toward the wall, one must reach behind to grab it. If it hangs toward the front, it's much easier to grab it.

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