Celebrate National Toilet Paper Day

August 26th is National Toilet Paper Day!

There is quite a history to the development of toilet paper as we know it.  In fact, the use of paper for hygiene purposes has been recorded as far back as 14th century China!  At that point it was a complete luxury item, only meant for royalty. The below list touches on a few of these interesting advances in the history of toilet paper.  Without these, it wouldn’t be what we know and love today!

16th Century

In the 16th century, the flushing toilet was invented by Sir John Harrington, a British nobleman.  Rumor has it, this is where the nickname “John” originated. At this point however, toilet paper as we know it was not in use.

18th Century

Americans generally used corncobs and leaves to cleanse where toilet paper is used today.  When newspapers, the Sears catalog and the Farmers almanac became available these were used as well.  In fact, the Farmers almanac actually had a hole in it, so that it could be hung on a nail or strung up with string!

19th Century

In 1819, Albert Giblin patented the silent valve, which allowed a toilet to be flushed more efficiently.  Albert worked for Thomas Crapper who had a successful plumbing business.  It is most likely that Thomas bought the patent from Albert, and went on to market the toilet himself.  This may be where another slang word came from!

In 1854, wood pulp was first used successfully to make paper.  Previous to this, rags were the most common material to make paper from.

Joseph Gayetty is credited with inventing modern toilet paper in the United States in 1857.  The New Yorker first sold his packaged tissue in flat sheets, selling for $0.50.

In 1872, Charles Benjamin Clark and John A. Kimberly first build a paper mill in Wisconsin.  They begin producing newsprint from linen and cotton rags.

In 1874, brothers Thomas, Irvin and Clarence Scott establish the Scott Paper Company (along with their cousins) in Philadelphia, PA.

By 1880, there were over 40 ground-wood mills in America and The British Perforated Paper Company in Great Britain first produced toilet paper.

In 1890, the Scott Paper Company first introduces toilet paper on a roll, and quickly becomes the nation’s leading producer of toilet paper.

20th Century

By 1928, Charmin is introduced by Hoberg Paper in Green Bay, WI.  In 1932, they introduced a 4-roll package, making a convenient bundle for shoppers. Charmin has since been purchased by Procter & Gamble.

In 1942, 2-Ply toilet paper was first introduced by the St. Andrews Paper Mill in England.

The US Government requires toilet designs flush using much less water in 1992.  This new parameter changes the toilet paper business to consider “flushability” and its importance.

In 1996, the “Toilet Paper Tax” is passed.  This law, passed by President Clinton, will tax each roll 6 cents.  There have been talks about removing this tax since… as many consider toilet paper a necessity just like food.

21st Century

By 2003, Annual global sales of toilet tissue exceed $19 billion.

Sales continue to grow though out the 21st century.



With this rich history in the development of toilet paper, it is no wonder that it has it’s own day of celebration!  Considerably one of the most “taken for granted” conveniences, according to Toilet Paper Encyclopedia, 49% of people choose toilet paper as their number one necessity if stranded on a desert island (even ahead of food!).



For more information on toilet paper, please visit our Vendor Literature Pages by clicking here.

Thank you Toilet Paper… and Happy National Toilet Paper Day!





© Copyright 2017 Sarah Rotier, All rights Reserved. Written For: DSR Sales Support Blog