How One Document Solved The Great Toilet Paper Debate

How 1 Document Solved The Great Toilet Paper Debate

It’s the eternal debate between newlyweds and roommates: which direction should the toilet paper hang? Does the loose end drape over the top or hang from the bottom? Which one is better? Until just recently, it seemed like this giant question in the sky would be forever unanswered and left to opinion. Today, new evidence suggests that there actually is a right and wrong way to hang your toilet paper on the roll.

Seth Wheeler’s 1891 Patent

Toilet paper has been in use for centuries, but not always in a form that our modern society would recognize. According to Wikipedia, toilet paper in the Ming Dynasty was available in paper sheets approximately 2 feet by 3 feet in size. In addition, toilet paper throughout history has been made out of materials like wool, hemp and lace.

In the year 1891, a man named Seth Wheeler patented an invention that consisted of rolls of thin, flexible paper with tear-off perforations to be used toilet-side for the purpose of wiping. In other words, Seth Wheeler is the father of modern toilet paper. Until his patent, toilet paper had been available in a variety of materials, sizes and formats. You can take a look at the patent drawing here.

What do you notice about the orientation of the paper on the roll?

That’s right. The toilet paper is installed with the loose end hanging over the roll. This picture comes straight from the source: the father of toilet paper himself. This is as official as it gets.

Advantages of the Loose End Over Method

People who hang the loose end of the toilet paper over the roll cite a variety of reasons for doing so, including:

  • It wastes less toilet paper. Hanging the loose end over the roll gives you more control over where the toilet paper gets torn, which can result in less wasted toilet paper. For a good visual aid that shows how this works, take a look at this infographic.
  • The end is easier to locate. With the end on top, it’s easier to find the end of the toilet paper and grab hold of it.
  • It’s easier to fold the end of the toilet paper in a decorative way. Hotel bathrooms everywhere would suffer if the end of the toilet paper couldn’t be folded decoratively.
  • You’re less likely to scrape your hand on the germy bathroom wall behind the toilet paper roll. This is a critical public health and safety issue.

This patent was recently uncovered and is now all over the Internet. For more information, check out this informative article about Seth Wheeler and his various toilet paper inventions. We also recommend taking a look at this helpful infographic.

That leaves us to ask the question: how do you hang your toilet paper? Leave a comment in the box below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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