Answer Of The Week (2)

In a week of answers, or possibly not, it is good to have nailed one question which has been bugging me for years; which way should you hang a toilet roll on a holder? If you have graduated from a simple nail on the wall, do you have the paper hanging to the front, making it easier to find the end and reducing the transference of germs, or do you let it hang down from the back, making it harder to unravel accidentally and, perhaps, giving a neater appearance?

A First World problem if there ever was one but one which gives me a degree of personal angst. I have this obsession, you see, with toilet rolls hanging down at the front and if I see one that is hanging from the back, I am compelled to put it right.

Fortunately, this week I found evidence that puts this argument to bed. You might even say I am able to wipe the floor with my opponents.

We owe the perforated toilet paper to one Seth Wheeler of the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company, which he patented in 1871. In 1891 he repatented his invention, but this time in roll form “to save waste,” according to his patent application.

In his 1891 application he shows a number of rolls of his toilet paper, hanging from roll holders. They are all hanging down from the front.

What was good enough for Seth is good enough for me.

I’m glad I’ve got to the bottom of something which has been bugging me for years.

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