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EVER WONDERED about the history of toilet paper?

People have used some form of toilet paper for centuries.
People have used some form of toilet paper for centuries. (By Jeff T. Green -- Associated Press)
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-- Sailors used the frayed end of an old anchor cable.

-- Americans used corncobs, newspapers, leaves and pages from the Sears Roebuck catalogue.

-- French royalty used lace.

-- Wealthy people in many countries used perfumed wool.

The invention of modern toilet paper did not occur until 1857, when Joseph Gayetty sold his medicated paper in packages of flat sheets. Evidently, most people saw no reason to pay for Mr. Gayetty's product when they had free alternatives lying all over the house. It wasn't until the Scott Co. came out with rolls of toilet paper in 1890 that the public saw the true value of this invention. Thank heavens for Mr. Scott!

-- Howard Bennett

Howard Bennett, a Washington pediatrician and author of health-related books for kids, writes about gross things for KidsPost.


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