Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Technology

What Is This? A Close Look at Pocket Lint?

Hint: It dates back to 6th-century China but never really caught on until the mid-1800s, when it was introduced in its packaged, modern form.

By Andrew GrantJune 19, 2009 5:00 AM
toiletpaper.jpg
Steve Gshmeissner/Photo Researchers | NULL

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Answer: Toilet Paper (Unused)

The Chinese first used toilet paper made of rice straw more than 1,400 years ago. Finally, in 1857, Joseph Gayetty introduced the first packaged toilet tissue, which proved to be more convenient than the previously common practice of using The Old Farmer’s Almanac. (In the almanac’s defense, it did have a hole in it for easy toilet-side hanging.) Nowadays, a roll made up of all the TP Americans use in a year would stretch about 300 million miles—more than three times the distance between Earth and the sun.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In