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Tuesday Trivia: How much toilet paper do you need?

J. H. Osborne • Mar 31, 2020 at 6:00 PM

If you’re among those wondering just how long your toilet paper supply will last, or how many you should buy if you’re still in the market for a state-of-emergency supply, there’s a website to help you run the numbers: www.howmuchtoiletpaper.com.

According to the “about” section on the site, it was created by London-based student software developer Ben Sassoon and artist Sam Harris “after they had a discussion about how much toilet paper they each used on a day to day basis and how that would change during the pandemic.” As of their last update, the site has had more than 5 million users

The site allows you to adjust multiple factors, such as number of people in the household, how many bathroom trips take place in a day, and even the number of “wipes per trip,” sheets used per wipe, and how many sheets are on the rolls you own or plan to purchase. You also adjust the time you expect to have to make your supply last.

According to the website, the average user has been shown to have five times the amount of toilet paper they need in case of a two-week quarantin

History

• “The origins of Toilet Paper can be dated back to 14th Century China, where it was used by the Emperor and his family. The toilet paper sheets had an aroma to them (almost like a perfume) and were always associated with the wealthy classes.”

• “In the 15th Century, paper became easier to produce, but the 19th Century is where it boomed thanks to mass production. A man by the name of Joseph C. Gayetty created the first ever commercial toilet paper — which were not in rolls, but arrived as flat sheets sold in bulk.”

• “Ever since the mass commercialization of toilet paper, new advances came into play such as Walter Alcocks paper, which was perforated. In other parts of the world, St. Andrew's Paper Mill in the UK developed the first two-ply toilet paper.”

Read more about toilet paper history and modern day toilets on their blog (“Sharing thoughts on the crisis, toilet paper, and more”), via the link on the website.

Source: www.howmuchtoiletpaper.com, Ben Sassoon and Sam Harris.

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