Life Without Toilet Paper

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I was just browsing around the internet, trying to bore myself to sleep with random useless information when I ran across this fun fact: Joseph C. Gayetty of New York City invented toilet paper in 1857. What a marvelous year that must have been! Did everybody up until then use coarse objects, or perhaps nothing at all? To me it’s always interesting to think back to before a time that I could never even imagine living in, and to be alive during the invention of toilet paper would seem like such an amazing “invention,” one would think. Or maybe that is just because our present day culture is so wrapped up in vanity and hygiene, and we’re used to it, so maybe it wasn’t really such a big deal afterall? Regardless, I thought it was interesting, especially because a man of New York City invented it. I’ve honestly never really thought about the invention of toilet paper, but I would have always thought it would have been a suburban farmer or something?

4 Comments so far

  1. Neil (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 5:54 am

    John Spartan: [whispering to Lenina] Look, I don’t know if you guys know it, but uh… you’re out of toilet paper.

    Alfredo Garcia: [confused] Did… did you say toilet *paper*?

    Lenina Huxley: Um… they used handfuls of wadded paper back in the 20th…
    [Lenina, Alfredo, and Erwin all laugh]

    John Spartan: I’m happy that you’re happy, but the place where you’re supposed to have the toilet paper, you’ve got this little shelf with three seashells on it.

    Erwin: He doesn’t know how to use the three seashells!
    [Erwin continues to laugh, then calms down]

    Erwin: I can see how that could be confusing.


  2. pinkyracer (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    yeah, and in most parts of the world, it’s still not used. In Tanzania, people wipe with their left hand, then rinse it off in the faucet next to the pit toilet they’re squatting over, if they have indoor plumbing. If there’s soap they might use that too, but I never saw soap in those bathrooms. Most had TP as well, for the tourists. But when I asked for some at someone’s home, she laughed at me. And I got Giardia, probably from a chef who did his business then went back to work handling food with both hands. The whole etiquette is that you’re not supposed to eat or pass food with your left hand.


  3. kim (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    that’s unreal. it’s so hard to believe that it’s 2006, and we sit here trying to envision the future and how our everyday procedures will be changed as technology expands, and we still have parts of the world not even using something as common as TOILET PAPER.


  4. Jan (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 12:59 am

    Bidets are the shit.



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