January 2012
Over The Wire Tissue Edition
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Tissue Historical Mile Markers

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Georgia-Pacific, Atlanta, Ga., USA, has published the following tissue tidbits online. Titled Toilet Tissue through the Ages, which G-P dubs "a glimpse into the evolution of one of mankind's greatest necessities," the tidbits include:

Ancient Rome. All public toilets had a stick with a sponge attached to its end that soaked in a bucket of brine so citizens could have a tool to freshen up with.

China, around 1391 AD. The Bureau of Imperial Supplies began producing 720,000 sheets of toilet paper per year. Each sheet measured two feet by three feet.

Viking Age. During this time, people would freshen up with discarded sheep’s wool.

Late Middle Ages. The French invented the bidet for proper cleansing.

1700s. Colonial Americans used corncobs to cleanse with. However, once newspapers became commonplace, people used the newspaper after they had finished reading it.

1880. The first actual paper produced for freshening up with was in England. The individual squares were sold in boxes, not rolls.

1902. Northern Paper Mills introduces Northern Tissue, made at the Green Bay East Mill in Wisconsin, USA.

1920s. Northern Mills introduced toilet tissue on a roll.

1973. The Great Toilet Paper Shortage occurred in 1973, after a popular evening talk show host made a joke that there was an acute shortage of toilet paper in the U.S. The next morning, 20 million viewers bought up all of the toilet paper they could find. By noon that day, most stores were out of toilet paper.



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