Wipe your …


No, no – I’m not going to write that here!  A distribution error by an agency in Münster, Germany (Sputnik) meant I was sent a press release from a company called Albaad, and, being a curious person, I – of course - read their “Appeal for a Toilet Paper Day”.

Toilet Paper Day is the 26 of August – I had no idea it existed, but I found the history of toilet paper rather amusing and interesting:

From the finger to the wet wipe: a little story about toilet paper
How today’s wipe culture developed

We spend three years of our life in the bathroom and visit the ceramic department (toilet) about 2500 times a year.  We only think about an elementary toilet utensil if it isn’t there: the toilet paper. In most countries it is taken for granted, just like the toilet itself.  The long process involved in producing the first “roll of toilet paper” as we know it, demonstrates that this was not always the case. Not just humans, but a lot of poultry too had to undergo a lot for the sake of this invention.

Historical sources show us that the Romans initially wiped themselves with their fingers and later used little sponges attached to sticks. In ancient Greece stones and fragments of clay were used. The Germanic regions mainly used straw and leaves. People in the middle ages and the early modern age were particularly adventurous and not at all squeamish: rags, moss, woodchips, corn cobs and pieces of linen were used for wiping. And apparently, they even used live chickens and geese for the job.

The first paper was used in 6. century China which, due it its precious nature, was reserved for use by the Emperor and his family. The first indications of large-scale-production in China date back to the 14. century: 1391 the Imperial Bureau of Supplies noted the production of 720,000 sheets of toilet paper yearly (two by three feet in size = around a ½ m²). In Germany the use of low-grade paper was recorded no earlier than the 16th century. Hundreds of years would pass before “real” toilet paper became commonly available for the wider population.

In 1857 the US American Joseph Gayetty developed the first, industrially produced toilet paper. “Gayettys medicates Papers” were single sheets of paper in a box, impregnated with aloe extracts and printed with the name of the founder. The toilet paper was promoted as the “biggest necessity of our time“ as the aloe extract was also supposed to help with haemorrhoids. Gayetty had no success with his invention, however: physicians turned the product down and it was just too expensive for the average user. 1000 sheets cost 1 Dollar, which equates to a price of 23 Euros today.

Its road to victory only began at the end of the 19. century when the roll was developed. In the beginning the producer – the Scott Paper Company from Philadelphia - sold the unperforated product under another name, so as not to damage the company’s reputation. 1928 the first toilet paper manufacturing plant in Germany was founded by Hans Klenk. His extended initials formed the name of the company: Hakle.

Want to know more? Please google or check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper#Historyy.

And now some information about upcoming events:

We will once again be featuring PU relevant online previews for K 2016 and Composites Europe (also Filtech and Bondexpo if we receive enough material) – please send us your press information in time.

By the way - the next Polyurethanex (venue and date in our event calendar) will not be held in the Crocus Expo Centre as before - It is moving to the centre of Moscow! Further details will be provided in our next issue.
Birgit Harreither

P.S: Shortage of space has prevented us from including some of the interesting news stories in this print issue– therefore we will shortly be mailing out another newsletter (if there any changes to your email accounts – just let us know).