Most of us see a toilet paper roll every day, but we know surprisingly little about the stuff. If it does its job, that's good enough, right? Well, if you have a kiddo going through potty training or just want to send your little one off to school this fall with some fun new facts, we have a few things to share about that fluffy white stuff and the roll it dances around on.
There's much more to toilet paper than meets the eye. The product has a rich history and, over time, people have gotten creative with its uses.
Here are seven fun facts to enjoy during potty time, around the picnic table, or the next time you're trying to dodge a conversation that's getting a bit too political. You're welcome.
Fact #1: Seth Wheeler Invented the Toilet Paper Roll
Although toilet paper is a staple of many cultures in modern day society, that wasn't always the case. When Seth Wheeler invented a type of perforated toilet paper, or paper with little holes in it, everything changed. People could tear paper off the rolls in neat little squares and get the exact amount they needed.
Wheeler patented perforated toilet paper through his own company, the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company, in 1871. He even patented his product as a toilet paper roll two decades later.
Fact #2: The Great Over-Under Debate Answered!
The debate continues on the internet and in homes around the world. Some like to hang their toilet paper roll "under" while others prefer to hand their toilet paper "over."
A few years ago, people went looking for evidence to support their claim that their method of hanging toilet paper was superior. In fact, researchers went all the way back to the original toilet paper patent. Lo and behold, the patent depicts the toilet paper roll as hung over, not under.
The next time you find yourself in the age old debate about how to hang toilet paper, just show your opponent the patent. *Mic drop*
Fact #3: Toilet Paper Makes for Great Origami
Toilet paper isn't just practical. Someone who knows what they're doing can use a roll of toilet paper to make a work of art.
After Stephen Gill saw toilet paper origami left by a maid in his hotel room, he was inspired to collect pictures of the works of art from all over the world. He spent three years taking pictures of toilet paper origami in hotels for his book Anonymous Origami.
Hotel maids aren't the only ones who use toilet paper art to delight others. An uninvited guest even took the time to craft some toilet paper origami after breaking into a house in Massachusetts, and doing some quick cleaning.
Fact #4: It's the Smartest House Warming Gift Ever
When orchestrating a big move, toilet paper is one of the easiest things to forget as you settle into your new house.
If you move to Korea, however, thoughtful neighbors are likely to make sure that you have one less thing to worry about. Items like toilet paper and laundry detergent are considered great gifts for someone who moves to a new place in Korea.
Bring that forward-thinking attitude over to the U.S. of A and give your pals the gift of never having to panic on the porcelain throne.
Fact #5: Astronauts Bring Toilet Paper to Space
Astronauts have to do their business too, so they naturally bring toilet paper with them when they go out into the great unknown.
Astronauts don't just use special toilets with foot straps and thigh braces to keep them from floating away when they do their business. Astronauts also keep air-tight bags on them to make sure they dispose of their toilet paper correctly.
As talented as astronauts are, it's reassuring to think that they need toilet paper just like anyone else.
Fact #6: It Makes for Creative Wedding Dresses
Although some may not be brave enough to walk down the aisle in a dress made of toilet paper, Cheap Chic Weddings holds a contest every year for those willing to give it a try. This year's contest even ended with a runway show in New York City!
For those interested in showing off their unique toilet paper wedding dress design and possibly winning some cash in 2020, Cheap Chic Weddings typically holds their contest in the summer.
Are you pushing the boundaries of TP's uses? Tell us about it in the comments below. Bonus points for giving kids some fun back-to-school craft ideas!