For my US History public speaking project, I had to choose a topic to present to my class that had something to do with American History.
And seeing as how endless the possibilities were, I chose to talk about the history of toilet paper.
Read what my slightly unusual sense of humor whipped up:
Can you imagine a world without suffering? With no more pain. No more tears, no more wars, no more poverty?
Don’t worry; neither can I. BUTT let me take this down a notch. Imagine a world without toilet paper.
I mean, have you ever looked at that magnificent roll of plushy goodness that we often seem to take for granted; and wonder how in the world it ever came to be?
And can you imagine the PAINFUL, TAINTED, and STAINED dignities of those who had to live without toilet paper?
Because during the time of Colonial America, people had to use corncobs. Looking BACK, times must’ve been hard back then.
So it seems only appropriate that I’ll spare you the details from what people actually used before they thought of using corncobs.
Technically speaking, the first “official” toilet paper was introduced in China – well of course, I mean, what’s not made in China?
BUTT it might surprise you to think that some of the “technological advances” for toilet paper can be attributed to Americans.
Before going on any further, it’s important to know that paper was a rare commodity in the 17th and 18th centuries.
BUTT it all started back in 1857, starting off the REAR END of toilet paper inventions, when Joseph C. Gayetty, the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper, invented the first packaged toilet paper in the United States. Funnily enough, advertisements for his products used the tagline, “The greatest necessity of the age!”
And since then, truer words have never been spoken.
Keeping the good times, ROLLIN’, Seth Wheeler of Albany became the official “inventor” of toilet paper as we know it. He invented rolled and perforated toilet paper, and his Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company began selling the first toilet paper on a roll around 1880.
Because I guess that’s just how they ROLL.
And just when you thought when Americans couldn’t feel any more FLUSHED with success, in 1879, Thomas Seymour, Edward Irvin and Clarence Wood Scott founded the Scott Paper Company in Philadelphia which came up with the idea of customizing rolls for every merchant-customer they had.
So as you can see, we’ve come a long way as a nation… from one-ply, to two-ply. From non-perforated, to perforated. From non-quilted, to quilted.
And in today’s society, we have this profound freedom to choose – whether we want ultra strong or ultra soft, tear-resistant or recycled, jumbo or natural…. The possibilities are without END.
So the next time you sit on that toilet looking at the mysterious roll of paper that’s sitting innocently by your side – be sure to thank America. Because not only are we the land of the free and the home of the brave – BUTT we’re also the land of the sanitary.
And of course, it’s always comforting to know that in HINDSIGHT, even though we might fail sometimes as a country, there will always be something to PICK UP THE MESS – even if it’s BEHIND THE SCENES. So you can WIPE AWAY the fears, doubts and anxieties – for we truly are a country that realizes our DUTY to TURN THE OTHER CHEEK and CLEAN UP OUR ACT.
BUTT unfortunately; this shouldn’t be a time to CRACK jokes. Because after all is said and done, whether you can believe it or not, the work of those who have gone to great measures to invent toilet paper - goes down the drain daily – AS a matter of fact.
And that’s how you troll your history teacher for giving you such an open ended assignment.