If you have been following my blogs, I’m sure you have noticed how I like to lead into the next one from something I talked about before. Well do you remember the one about me sitting in the out house looking at the Sears & Roebucks wish book trying to figure out what I wanted Santa to bring me?
I just wonder, do you know why that catalog was in the out house? In the early 60’s and before it wasn’t there for reading material, lol no there was another very important reason for it being there.
Through the ages everything you could imagine had been used to clean up after using the bathroom. Pretty much what ever was close at hand, Coconuts, snow, leaves, even sea shells or pieces of clay.
During the early years of the American west a corncob or torn pages from a magazine was the common practice. The Sears & Roebuck catalog became so famous for this endeavor, they jokingly produced a spinoff of their catalog “Rears & Sorebutt Catalog” during the 1950’s. Another famous publication “The Farmer’s Almanac” still today has a single hole in the upper corner so that the magazine can be hung on a hook and allow pages to be torn out.
The first packaged toilet paper was produced in the US around 1857, packaged in a box similar to tissue paper and medicated with aloe. Finally during the late 1870s toilet paper began to look as we know it today, on a roll with perforated sheets.
Still it was looked upon as a luxury, in most homes, after all why travel to pay for something that came in the mail and was delivered free.
Paper production during those early years often left wood splinters embedded in the paper, hence the name Rears & Sorebutt, then in 1935 the first splinter free tissue was introduced by Northern Tissue.
In 1942, St. Andrew’s Paper Mill started to produce a 2 ply toilet paper and slowly America began to embrace the comfort of toilet paper as we know it today.
Today it’s normal to find stashes of extra rolls in any restroom, stacked in cabinets, on toilet paper racks, or hidden in decorative ways such as some of the products shown below which are for sell at various online Etsy stores.