The History of the Toilet

Sherman Oaks PlumberSettling the Debate on How to Roll Toilet Tissue

Travelers in a hotel may notice that the maintenance staff rolls the toilet tissue in one direction. Take a visit to a family member or friend's home and the toilet tissue is rolled another way.

No matter who thinks their way is right or wrong, Huffington Post has unveiled the answer to the mystery: Which way is the correct way to add toilet tissue onto a roll?

The Final Direction

Writer Owen Williams posted a picture of an 1891 patent by New York businessman Seth Wheeler. The toilet paper is turned so the tissue paper rolls in an "over" direction instead of "under." This image was captured by a tweet from technology blogger Owen Williams.

Google Patent Helps Confirm Direction

Of course a patent on a product doesn't necessarily mean that things won't evolve over time. However, in the instructions for the patent published on Google, this text is included: ". . . the free end of the sheet be grasped at a point in line with the preceding connecting points, a long series of sheets may be drawn from the roli unless the free movement of the roll is prevented by friction or other means."

While friction is possible from both an "under" and "over" direction, anyone who has been in a bathroom where the toilet tissue is too close against the holding container it's enclosed in knows that it can be a bit more difficult to pull toilet paper when it is in the "under" direction than to roll with one hand and pull with the other when the tissue is in the "over" direction.

Why Direction Make a Difference

Sherman Oaks Toilet-HistoryAsk the owner of a cat who has seen toilet paper all over the bathroom floor and the opinions will come flooding out about why the "over" direction is a pain. According to CNET confirms that a person prone to accidents may believe that their knuckles can be easily scratched from the "over" direction.

Ask the owner of a recreational vehicle (RV) — or someone who lives in a city that has regular earthquakes — and they may point out how much easier it is for toilet paper to be wasted when the ground is shaky.

While the patented version does indeed give the correct way for how to position toilet paper in 1891, this same issue in 2015 may be about as relative as the "to-may-toe/to-mah-toe" argument. However, the dictionary agrees with both pronunciations. In the case of toilet tissue, the "over" people can proudly gloat that there is only one correct answer.

If you live in the Sherman Oaks area, and are having toilet troubles, Call Plumbing Brothers & Rooter at (855) 375-5700 and find out how you can get your toilet back!