When Was Toilet Paper Invented? What was the History Timeline?

2023-12-13 Updated by Shawn

Toilet paper, sometimes called toilet tissue or bathroom tissue, is a common but important product used in our daily life. It's often made of soft, absorbent wood or bamboo pulp material. The bathroom tissue can come in different rolls, sizes, embossing, plies and more. It's difficult to imagine life without toilet paper today. But do you know when was toilet paper invented? Who invented toilet paper? Now, let's explore it.

When was toilet paper invented?

The origin of modern toilet paper comes from the United States. In 1857, Joseph Gayetty, an entrepreneur from New Jersey, invented the earliest toilet paper. This earliest toilet paper product was not in the common roll shape today, but in pieces. This paper was softened with aloe vera oil and also had Gayetty's name printed on it.

Joseph Gayetty

In 1871, Zeth Wheeler of Albany became the official "inventor" of toilet paper. Seth Wheeler patents rolled and perforated wrapping paper. His Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company began selling the first toilet paper on a roll.

Toilet paper dispensed from rolls was popularized when the Scott Paper Company began marketing it in 1890.

The first perforated toilet paper rolls were introduced in 1890, and by 1930 toilet paper was finally manufactured "splinter-free".

The invention of the most common wrinkled toilet paper in modern times was indeed due to a coincidence. In the early 20th century, Scott Paper Company in the United States purchased a large batch of roll paper, but during transportation, the container became damp, causing the roll paper to accidentally produce many wrinkles and cannot be used normally. At that time, many people believed that these papers should be returned to the supplier to reduce the company's losses, but the company's CEO Arthur Scott suddenly had a whim to punch rows of small holes on these papers, turning them into small squares that were more convenient to tear and use.

Scott didn't expect his sudden idea to become very popular, so he named this paper "Sani toilet paper" and it quickly became popular in most households.

Modern toilet paper history timeline?

modern toilet paper history timeline

In 1857, Joseph Gayetty invented the earlier toilet paper.

In 1871, Zeth Wheeler patents rolled and perforated toilet paper.

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 1928, German, Hans Klenk become the first toilet paper rolls seller in Europe.

In 1935 Northern Tissue invented splinter free toilet paper.

In 1942, two-ply toilet paper was invented.

In 1954, coloured toilet paper made its debut.

In 1964, perfume was added to some toilet papers.

In 1973, toilet paper started to get softer, stronger and more absorbent.

The history of toilet paper?

The history of toilet paper in Ancient Rome?

In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used, and, after use, placed back in a pail of vinegar. The sponges, known as tersoriums or xylospongium, may have been used once or cleaned in a bucket of vinegar or salt water and reused, or they may have been used more like toilet brushes than toilet paper. It was simple and effective, but not very sanitary.


Beyond the communal sponge, Greco-Romans also used moss or leaves and pieces of ceramic known as pessoi to perform cleansing.

The history of toilet paper in Ancient Greeks?

The ancient Greeks used Ostraca. Ostraca were broken pieces of ceramic pottery, kind like what a flowerpot is made out of today, that had smoothed down edges.

The history of toilet paper in China?

The use of paper for hygiene has been recorded in China in the 6th century AD, with specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century.

In 589, the scholar-official Yan Zhitui (531–591) wrote: “Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes.”

book of Yan Zhitui

During the later Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked: they [the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper.

During the early 14th century, it was recorded that in what is now Zhejiang alone, ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper were manufactured annually. During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), it was recorded in 1393 that an annual supply of 720,000 sheets of toilet paper (approximately 2 by 3 ft (60 by 90 cm)) were produced for the general use of the imperial court at the capital of Nanjing. From the records of the Imperial Bureau of Supplies of that same year, it was also recorded that for the Hongwu Emperor's imperial family alone, there were 15,000 sheets of special soft-fabric toilet paper made, and each sheet of toilet paper was perfumed. To learn more, click toilet paper in wikipeida.

The history of toilet paper in Europe?

During the early 14th century in Europe, people used rags to clean up after a trip to the loo. Rich Europeans used wool, hemp or even lace. But commoners used whatever cloth they had including their sleeves.

The first mention of toilet paper appeared in Europe in the 16th century in a text by Rabelais. Probably because most people in Europe at the time were using bidets. A wash basin that came directly after the chamber pot. It’s more evolved toilet-like descendant is still commonly used today.

The history of toilet paper in America?

In North America, throughout the 1700s, people were still wiping with whatever they had on hand. Corncobs were a common toilet paper alternative. Then, newspapers and magazines arrived in the early 18th century.

The history of toilet paper in UK?

In the UK in the late 1800s, the British Perforated Paper Company started producing toilet paper. It was sold in individual squares in a wooden box and was very rough.

When did toilet paper come into common use?

By the end of the 19th century, more and more homes were being built with sit down, flush toilets. People needed something that could go in the bowl and fit down the pipes. Since leaves, moss, and catalogue paper could clog the pipes, everyone turned to flushable toilet paper.

Today, we can buy a wide variety of paper products. Whatever your preferences, there is a roll for you.

What was used before toilet paper was invented?

Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or hemp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stones, sand, moss, water, snow, ferns, plant husks, fruit skins, seashells, or corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs.


When was toilet paper invented in China?

In 589.

When was toilet paper invented in America?

In 1857, Joseph Gayetty, an entrepreneur from New Jersey, invented the earliest toilet paper.

Who invented toilet paper in 1857?

Joseph Gayetty

When was 2-ply toilet paper invented?

In 1942.

When was splinter-free toilet paper invented?

In 1930.

Written by Shawn
Hi, this is Shawn from Softer Paper Co,. Ltd. We started this blog to record the knowledge we know along the way and help other people to get the useful information. And if you want to purchase toilet paper in bulk, feel free to contact us.
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