The past and present of toilet paper

  Toilet paper is the “most essential necessity” that people use every day. Let’s take a look at the past and present of toilet paper.
  In 851 AD, an Arab tourist came to China and was curious to see that the Chinese wiped their filth with paper instead of water. Of course, the butt wipes at that time were very rough, and sanitation factors such as disinfection were not considered.
  By the beginning of the 14th century, in an area roughly equivalent to today’s Zhejiang Province, 10 million bales of straw paper were produced each year, with 1,000-10,000 sheets each.
  In 1393, the Nanjing Imperial Palace in the Ming Dynasty consumed 720,000 sheets of papyrus, each 90 cm long and 60 cm wide. When Zhu Yuanzhang, the emperor of the Ming Dynasty, the royal family used 15,000 sheets of softer straw paper, and also added spices.
  Modern commercial toilet paper was invented by American inventor Joseph C. Guyty. On December 8, 1857, Guyty produced branded toilet paper at 41 Ann Avenue in New York City. Guyty toilet paper comes in sheet form with aloe vera extract, which softens the paper, and costs $0.50 per pack of 500.
  The shape and size of sheet toilet paper was rectangular before 1999, 11 cm long and 10 cm wide; after 1999, it was changed to square, with a side length of 10 cm. At present, it has changed back to a rectangle, 10 cm long and 9.4 cm wide.
  On July 25, 1871, Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, was the first to apply for a toilet paper roll in the United States. Wheeler also patented a toilet roll holder. This patented toilet paper is the commonly used roll paper. There is a core in the middle, that is, a hollow paper tube, on which the toilet paper is wound. The width of the toilet paper is about 10 cm, and a small hole is punched horizontally every about 11 cm, just like a postage stamp. That’s easy to tear apart.
  Toilet paper rolls come in a variety of sizes, but the most common is 10 cm wide and 12 cm in diameter. Usually, the higher the grade of the roll paper, the more layers, some as many as 6 layers, the more able to ensure its water absorption and toughness.
  On April 16, 2010, the US “National Geographic” magazine published an article saying that 27,000 trees are cut down every day to produce 83 million rolls of toilet paper.
  Consumption of toilet paper has soared, in part because it is being used for other purposes, such as wiping off oil. According to the October 5, 2018 data from Germany’s “Consumer Market Outlook”, Americans use the most toilet paper, with an average of 141 rolls of toilet paper per American per year, far more than other countries. The average number of toilet paper consumption per person per year in some other countries is 134 rolls in Germany, 127 in the UK, 91 in Japan, 88 in Australia, 81 in Spain, 71 in France, 70 in Italy, 49 in China and 38 in Brazil.