close
Magazine
Advertisement
 

Solving the Great Toilet Paper Debate

It’s an argument that many people have had: should the end of the toilet paper hang over the top of the roll or be tucked underneath it?

toilet paper
courtesy US patent and trademark office
Advertisement

We may finally have an answer, courtesy of an 1891 patent by New York businessman Seth Wheeler.

Credited by some as America’s founding father of toilet paper, Wheeler patented the first perforated wipes in 1871 and launched his Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company in ’77, two years before the Scott brothers debuted their blockbuster brand selling toilet paper to hotels and pharmacies. Wheeler filed dozens of patents until the 1920s, including those for toilet paper crimped into ornamental patterns and disposable “bosom pads” meant to replace expensive corsets. But his greatest invention was the roll-and-handles design in 1891 – a now-ubiquitous fixture whose patent illustration solved the “over/under” tissue issue before it even started.

The answer, as you can see above, is “over” – no surprise to the estimated 70% of wipers who already prefer this position, according to cnet.com. Proponents say an “over” roll provides easier access to the free end of the toilet paper and minimises the risk of knuckle-on-wall germ gathering. The vehement 30% in the “under” camp counter that their position gives a tidier appearance and makes paper less prone to pet attacks – concerns that Victorian householders probably overlooked after switching from aloe-infused hemp sheets to Wheeler’s first perforated rolls.



Advertisement

More in Home Tips

8 Reasons You Should Never Let Your Cat Sleep in Your Bed

8 Reasons You Should Never Let Your Cat Sleep in Your Bed

Spending the night cozied up to your fur-baby may sound relaxing.
Kid Chaos and How To Cut Down Time Wasted Cleaning Up After Them

Kid Chaos And How To Cut Down Time Wasted Cleaning Up After Them

Previously lost in the annals of time, we dig out those forgotten domestic hacks passed down from generation to generation by nonnas, yayas, bunicas, abuelas and grandmothers worldwide.
4 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Moving House

4 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Moving House

Moving from one house or flat to another is a stressful thing to do. To minimise worry, plan well in advance.
The Best Ways To Clean The Most Popular Room In The House

The Best Ways To Clean The Most Popular Room In The House

Few things detract from a home's design and appearance like a dirty bathroom.
Take Charge Of Living Rooms, Family Rooms And Common Areas

Take Charge Of Living Rooms, Family Rooms And Common Areas

Living rooms, family rooms, game rooms, and dens are all wonderful gathering places for our friends and families, making those spaces the heart and soul of our homes.
Advertisement
Advertisement