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Toilet Paper
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Title: Toilet Paper
Identifier: 2006.2.1
Donor: Laura Wallace
Item Date: 1917
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A cardboard base covered in pink silk with sheets of tissue paper attached to it with two butterfly clips. Pink silk is machine stitched as well as hand stitched.

The first toilet paper was used in 1391 by a Chinese Emperor who had sheets of paper made specifically for use in the toilet. For much of European and North American history paper was in high demand for academic reasons and short supply because it was made from rags, so there was not enough paper to justify use for hygiene. The rich used scraps of fabric for wiping, while the poor used leaves or nothing at all. In America it was common to use corn cobs. When newsprint became widespread it was used for this purpose as were catalogues like the Sears catalogue or Farmers almanac. In the 1850s the process for creating wood pulp was discovered and by 1900 paper was being made using wood pulp instead of rags. It was around this time that the desire for better hygiene was matched with improvements in residential and commercial indoor plumbing. In 1857 New Yorker Joseph Gayetty introduced the first packaged Toilet Tissue in the United States. The Gayette Firm, located in New Jersey, produced and sold a package of 500 sheets selling for $0.50. It was named "Therapeutic Paper" and contained aloe to help cure sores. In 1880 the British Perforated Paper Company began producing toilet paper as well. They were the first to produce and sell perforated toilet paper. In 1890 the Scott Paper Company introduced toilet paper on a roll. The TP was sold through intermediaries, private labellers and drug stores and labelled with the resellers name as the Scott Company did not want to be associated with the "unmentionable" product. Toilet paper on a roll turned out to be an extremely popular and profitable business for Scott Paper Company. Throughout the early to mid 1900s toilet paper was sold both as individual sheets and on the roll. By the 1930s several major companies had been created just to manufacture and sell toilet paper. In 1942 2-ply toilet paper was introduced by St. Andrews Paper Mill in England. In 2003 toilet paper sales exceeded $19 billion. http://encyclopedia.toiletpaperworld.com/toilet-paper-history/complete-historical-timeline

The donor's parents, Lena and Charles McCormick of Edmonton, put this toilet paper out during special occasions; it was particularly for the ladies.
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