Although we take toilet paper for granted, toilet paper has a relatively short history in the modern world.
In the 2nd century BC Chinese invented wrapping and padding material known as paper. There are many evidences that confirm that they used that paper like toilet paper too.
In the 6th century CE toilet paper was widely used in China.
Historically the first modern toilet paper was made in 1391, when it was created for the needs of the Chinese Emperor family. Each sheet of toilet paper was even perfumed. That was toilet paper as we have come to think of it.
In the late fifteenth century, paper became widely available. However, mass manufacturing of modern toilet paper began in the late 19th century.
Joseph C. Gayetty created the first commercially packaged toilet paper in 1857. His toilet papers were loose, flat, sheets of paper. Joseph founded The Gayetty Firm for toilet paper production in New Jersey and his first factory-made toilet paper was "The Therapeutic Paper”. This first toilet paper in flat sheets was medicated with aloe. Gayetty named it “Gayetty’s Medicated Paper.” Joseph Gayetty printed his name on every sheet. Unfortunately, this invention failed.
Thomas Seymour, Edward Irvin and Clarence Wood Scott began selling some kind of toilet paper in Philadelphia in 1867. In 1879, Scott brothers founded the Scott Paper Company. The Scott Paper Company's toilet paper was the first toilet paper sold in rolls. In 1890 the Scott Paper Company made its Waldorf brand toilet paper in rolls.
In 1871, Zeth Wheeler patents rolled and perforated toilet paper. In 1877 he founded the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company. In 1897, company began selling and marketing standard perforated toilet paper on a roll.
In 1879, Walter Alcock, a British businessman, created toilet paper on a roll, too. He was the first that used the perforated toilet roll instead of the common flat sheets.
In 1880 the British Perforated Paper Company began selling toilet paper. That toilet paper was sold in boxes of individual squares.
In 1885 Oliver Hewlett Hicks patented package of toilet paper and the manufacturing process.
In 1896, Irvin's son Arthur Scott joined the Scott Paper Company. In 1921 Waldorf brand represented 64% of Scott's total case sales. Company became the leading toilet paper company in the world.
In 1928, German, Hans Klenk become the first toilet paper rolls seller in Europe.
In 1942 toilet paper becomes softer, St. Andrew's Paper Mill in England began selling the first two-ply toilet paper. Today two-ply toilet paper is the standard in many countries.
In 1935 Northern Tissue invented splinter free toilet paper.
In 1973, America experienced first toilet paper shortage. In December 1973 after one of Carson’s jokes (Johnny Carson, one of America’s most loved comedians) scared consumers into stockpiling supplies.
At the time, people did not speak of the toilet paper frequently. In conservative era it was 'unmentionable" to talk about this product. However, people had a desire for better hygiene and toilet paper slowly fit into the consumer market.
Today the manufacture of toilet paper is a large industry. The modern toilet paper has definitely made life much easier and more hygienic for us all.