15 Facts on National Toilet Paper Day – August 26th

Today (August 26) is National Toilet Paper Day! Here are some interesting facts about toilet paper to help you celebrate this quirky event!

USA money toilet paper

Americans use 50% more toilet paper than other Western societies.

Americans use 50% more toilet paper than other Western societies. On average, Americans use about 50 pounds of toilet paper per-person per year, compared to people in other Western countries, who use about 33 pounds per year each. Americans also prefer multi-ply paper, which increases the per-person usage rate.

Novelty Electric Toilet Tissue - corn cob with an electric cord

Corn cobs (the un-plugged kind) were used as toilet paper in the past. Progress is great!

Some interesting things have been used in place of toilet paper. Water, hay, corncobs, leaves, sticks, stones, sand moss, hemp, wool, husks, fruit peels, ferns, sponges, seashells, and broken pottery have all been used in the bathroom at one time or another.
(Broken pottery!)

Over or under? About two-thirds of Americans prefer their toilet paper to come off the roll over the top.

Toilet paper was introduced in the US in 1857. Joseph Gayetty is credited with bringing toilet paper to the US market in 1857. The paper was dispensed in flat squares embossed with Gayetty’s name. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper exited the market in the 1920′s, a victim of competition from the more compact and more easily dispensed rolled paper commonly used today.

Rolled toilet paper (and toilet paper rollers) hit the US market in 1883. Seth Wheeler patented both rolled toilet paper and toilet paper dispensers.

Colored toilet paper was available in the US for about 40 years. Scott was the last company to remove colored toilet paper from the US market in 2004. Colored toilet paper is still readily available in European countries.

model with blue colored toilet paper

Hold the color! US consumers prefer bright white, multi-ply paper with decorative designs. While the designs give an embossed look, the toilet paper isn’t truly embossed. The designs are created as part of the drying process during production, and according to the manufacturers, they improve the overall strength of the paper.

Toilet paper is specially designed to decompose. Even though they may feel similar, toilet paper and facial tissues aren’t the same. The fibers used to make toilet paper are very short, which allow the paper to begin disintegrating within seconds of becoming wet. This design allows the paper to dissolve in septic systems. Remarkably, after getting wet, toilet paper still retains about 15% of its dry strength.

The first mention of toilet paper in history was from the 6th century AD. Chinese history records the first mention of the use of toilet paper in the 6th century. By the 14th century, toilet paper was mass-produced in China.

Global toilet paper production consumes 10 million trees each year. Each tree produces about 100 pounds of toilet paper. On average, global toilet paper demand consumes nearly 30,000 trees each day.

Mr. Whipple squeeze the Charmin

Mr. Whipple said, “Don’t squeeze the Charmin!” But he can’t help himself.

Standard size? Not always! The industry standard size of a square of toilet paper is 4.5″ x 4.5″. Some manufacturers reduce the size of the square in order to offer a lower retail price.

Toilet paper is a bona fide bestseller! Not surprisingly, toilet paper is ranked third in overall sales of non-food items, and accounts for more than $4 billion in US sales annually.

camp toilet paperThe US Army used toilet paper as camouflage. During Desert Storm, the US Army used toilet paper to camouflage its tanks.

It doesn’t pay to be British. At least when it comes to buying toilet paper. Britons spend on average about twice as much as other European consumers do on toilet paper, and about three times more than US consumers do for the same product.

Here’s the real reason Canada likes us. The US is the largest exporter of toilet paper in the world. On the other side of the coin, Canada imports more toilet paper from the US than any other country.

 

Some may remember  the “little brown shack out back” as does Country & Western Singer Bobby Bare.  Check out this video:

National Toilet Paper Day 2014

Since the Dawn of Man, humanity has fought a never-ending battle against skidmarks and rashes.  The weapons of combat ranged from water, rocks, and leaves, to whatever slow, furry animal was sitting too close to your hole in the ground.

Finally, Chinese inventors in the 6thcentury decided that those tools of butt-wiping were too complicated, too messy, and just too rough. They found a new way, a way that has evolved for over a thousand years but still goes by the same name: toilet paper.

On August 26th, we celebrate this marvel of hygienic engineering with National Toilet Paper Day! How, exactly, can we celebrate? Well, besides the obvious, which involves a lot of coffee, burritos, and warm milk, there are other ways to honor that great white roll, and make this random national holiday as memorable as Christmas!

Decorate Your Home

tpteepee thinkstock Celebrating National Toilet Paper Day

You can even TP a teepee!

Sure, TPing a house can be classified as petty vandalism, but not when you do it yourself! Throw a couple of rolls up into the trees and bushes on your front lawn. Wrap your stairway banisters. Hang streams of toilet paper from the chandelier. Tape a load of those cardboard center rolls together and set it up in your living room, complete with toilet paper draper and white lights. It’s a holiday!

Forgo Band-Aids

bloodyhell thinkstock Celebrating National Toilet Paper Day

“Gauze? That’s for fancy-folk! TP will do us real Americans just fine”

Some say the manly way to fix up a bleeding injury is to just wrap it in duct-tape. Sure, that will stop blood from leaking all over the floor, but what about when you have to rip it off? The cut just opens up again. Instead, wrap your bloody hole or stump with toilet paper. It’s softer, more comfortable, easier to manage, and, unlike duct-tape, is stockpiled in every home and business.

Gift-Wrap

As with most important holidays, gifts must be exchanged, and National Toilet Paper Day should be no different. What the gift is really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we celebrate the season with gift-wrapping. Man has wrapped emergency presents (when we wrap presents) with almost every paper product known. Last minute birthday? Grab the newspaper and some tape. Forgot to wrap a wedding gift? Who’s got a paper bag and some Saran wrap? National Toilet Paper Day’s holiday wrapping paper is just too obvious to mention. Just make sure to use fresh toilet paper.

Did You Get the Memo?

whatisthiscrap thinkstock Celebrating National Toilet Paper Day

The input is not dissimilar to the finished product

The holiday season for anal hygiene has its place in the office as well. Toilet paper is just paper, after all. Why not send out physical memos on toilet paper? Better yet (if you’re management, anyway), scribble out those memos from the lavatory. Draft your expense reports on toilet paper. Bathrooms in Las Vegas have phones right next to the toilet, so taking conference calls in the bathroom while preparing to celebrate National Toilet Paper Day the old fashioned way is not out of the question.

albundy Celebrating National Toilet Paper Day

Photo by Fox

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