Toilet Paper and the Great Scotts
Posted by SuzanneR on August 20, 1998 at 12:55:06:
In response to The latest "Poop", written by Bob Whitworth on August 20, 1998 at 12:11:33
] Toilet paper as a commodity for purchase was first brought to market by an Englishman during the mid- Victorian era (this info can be found on Microsoft Encarta or Bookshelf, I forget which). It was sold in sheets, not rolls. It was a hard sell though, and his business quickly went into the crapper--or didnít--depending on your point of view.
From Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati: "The first commercially packaged toilet paper, or bathroom tissue, in America was introduced by businessman Joseph Gayetty in 1857. But the product, available in packages of individual sheets, sold poorly and soon virtually disappeared from grocery store shelves." (205)
The book also mentions that an Englishman called Walter Alcock was the first to conceive the idea of "tear sheets" in 1879, but had trouble marketing his product at the height of Victorian prudery.
A short time after this failure, I believe it was an American who decided to try this venture and packaged it in rolls. After heavily advertising, the business grew and left the gentleman very flush with cash. He left us with a roll model for everyone to follow.
I believe you are referring to Edward and Clarence Scott who packaged their product in smaller rolls which were sold in plain brown wrappers. The book says: "From unlabeled brown wrappers, the product evolved to the prestigiously named Waldorf tissue, then simply to ScotTissue, each roll bearing the slogan 'soft as old linen'."
Sounds a lot more comfortable than using last year's newspapers and catalogues!
- Roll call Bob Whitworth 17:08:53 8/20/98 (3)
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