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Toilet Paper Controversy Ended by the Inventor

Should the toilet paper be placed so that the paper rolls over the top, or is pulled from under the roll? It’s a question that friends and lovers have been fighting over for ages. Now the answer is in, and it comes from the man who invented what we know as toilet paper.

New York businessman Seth Wheeler, who patented his invention for the toilet paper roll in 1891. His idea was to create a roll of paper with perforations that would allow people to easily pull off squares for their use. The patent shows the paper rolling over the top of the roll, settling the on-going question about which way you should load the toilet paper holder. We’re including the picture so that you can share it with those folks who insist on the under the roll approach.



Of course, it’s possible that this was just the easiest way for the inventor to draw the picture to get the message across and thus, maybe the under the roll people still have a point. To that end, we’re sharing this infographic courtesy of engineers and FastCompany. It starts with a brief history of toilet paper, and the debate, and concludes with the advantages that each side of the debate claims for their chosen method. Be sure to look at the personality traits associated with the two different styles. Then, if this doesn’t solve the problem at your house, consider the 1996 invention that allows users to flip the roll to their preferred direction quickly and easily.


over-under 3



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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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