Toilet Facts

While scouring the Internet for various stuff, I found some toilet facts that you might find interesting…

Most toilets flush in the key of E flat. One-third of all Americans flush the toilet while they are still sitting on it.

40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

The first toilet ever seen on television was on “Leave It To Beaver.”

Lightning has been known to strike people talking on the telephone or sitting on the toilet.

In 1996, President Clinton passed a law on toilet paper, taxing each roll 6 cents and increasing the price of the product to 30 cents per roll.

the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat

car steering wheels carry more than twice as many germs as a toilet seat

Urine on the toilet seat. Although disgusting, it is a nearly sterile liquid.

The faucet handle in most bathrooms at work have 400 times more germs than the toilet seat.

There are 333 squares of toilet paper on a roll.

-The standard size of a sheet of toilet paper is 4.5″ by 4.5″.

-In 1890, the Scott Paper Company manufactured toilet paper on a roll, much as we know it today.

Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush

advice in one book suggests that a person exit a public restroom stall immediately after flushing, since “fecal matter” can fly 20 feet into the air when flushed

Who invented the Flushing Toilet?

The flushing toilet was invented in 1596, not by Thomas Crapper as most people think, but by Sir John Harington. Harington, a British nobleman and godson of Queen Elizabeth I, invented a valve that when pulled would release water from a water closet. Sir John recommended flushing the toilet once or twice a day, although with our modern technology, we know that is probably not sufficient. (Rumor has it that, in Robin Hood’s day, King Arthur – angry with how his brother ruled the country while the King was gone, named fair toilette, ‘the john’ – AKA as ‘the Jon’ to you folks.) Giblin did work for Crapper as an employee who had a successful career in the plumbing industry, holding nine patents for plumbing-related products in England from 1861 to 1904. The most likely scenario is that Crapper bought the patent rights from Giblin and marketed the device himself.

What does the word “toilet” mean?

Deriving in 1828, the original meaning of toilet, or toilette, is of French origin meaning the “act of washing, dressing, and preparing oneself”. As the years went by, the word evolved into actually being the room or facility in which one arranges their toilet. In modern days, toilet refers to the plumbing fixture that one might use in the “bathroom”, with “bathroom” now describing the facility one would go to for the purpose of using the toilet or lavatory.

According to bathroom historian Frank Muir, the toilet and/or the outhouse have at one time or another been called the House of Honor (by the ancient Israelites), the House of the Morning (by the ancient Egyptians), the garderobe (literally, “cloakroom”), the necessarium, the necessary house, the reredorter (literally, “the room at the back of the dormitory”), the privy (that is, the private place), the jakes, the john, the loo, the W.C. (for water closet), room 100 (in Europe), the lavatory, the closet of ease, and many other things. In addition to euphemisms, needless to say, there is also an abundance of vulgar expressions Curiously, however, there is no “real” word for the place where one deposits one’s bodily wastes. ‘Toilet,’ which is now thought of as the “official” term, is itself a euphemism-originally, toilet was the process of dressing, as in, “the lady has just completed her toilet.” Before toilet assumed its present meaning in the early twentieth century, the accepted technical term for the “john” was the vaguely disgusting, but still euphemistic “bog-house.”

*China – Chinese Emperors first felt the need for something to use to clean themselves and thus they ordered the first ever toilet paper in AD 1391. Each sheet of toilet tissue was then 2 feet by 3 feet. The Bureau of Imperial Supplies began producing 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year

*USA…1857 – New Yorker Joseph C. Gayetty produced the first packaged bathroom tissue in the United States in 1857. The Gayetty Firm from New Jersey produced the first toilet paper named “The Therapeutic Paper”. It contained an abundance of aloe, a curative addition. The company sold it in packs of 500 sheets for fifty cents, and Joseph Gayetty had his name printed on each sheet!

*USA…1890 – The Scott Paper Company is the first company to manufacture tissue on a roll, specifically for the use of toilet paper.

As it states 1 ply is a single layer of tissue where 2 ply is two layers. That does not mean however, that 2 ply is twice the thickness. 1 ply is made of a 13# thickness paper versus 2 ply is made of 2 layers of 10# thickness paper. Manufacturers do not simply ‘double up’ the 1 ply in order to make 2 ply.

– An early advertisement –

Scott advertisements were suggesting that “over 65% of middle-aged men and women suffered from some sort of rectal disease”. Inferior toilet paper was deemed to be responsible. It was printed in Scott advertisements that “harsh toilet tissue may cause serious injury”. The ad said ” ScotTissue, Sani-tissue and Waldorf are famous bathroom tissues specifically processed to satisfy the three requirements doctors say toilet tissue must have to be safe: absorbency-softness-chemical purity”. Each sheet, it said was made of “thirsty fibers.” Scott tissue was made from the finest ingredients and “they are neither acid nor alkaline in reaction. Each sheet is fully sterilized in manufacture” it read.

What did people use before toilet paper was invented? <<

*Newsprint, paper catalogue pages in early US

*Hayballs, Scraper/gompf stick kept in container by the privy in the Middle Ages

*Discarded sheep’s wool in the Viking Age, England

*Frayed end of an old anchor cable was used by sailing crews from Spain and Portugal *Medieval Europe- Straw, hay, grass, gompf stick

*Corn cobs, Sears Roebuck catalog, mussel shell, newspaper, leaves, sand- United States

*Water and your left hand, India

*Pages from a book, British Lords

*Coconut shells in early Hawaii

*Lace was used by French Royalty

*Public Restrooms in Ancient Rome- A sponge soaked in salt water, on the end of a stick

*The Wealthy in Ancient Rome-Wool and Rosewater

*French Royalty-lace, hemp

*Hemp & wool were used by the elite citizens of the world

*Defecating in the river was very common internationally

*Bidet, France

*Snow and Tundra Moss were used by early Eskimos

You can read even more information about toilets and paper products here

17 thoughts on “Toilet Facts

  1. Thomas Wayne


    > 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

    This is way too vague, making it somewhat disturbing. How is this happening? Is it from the toilet, or do people injure themselves while doing their business?

    Maybe I don’t want to know…

  2. Dumb blonde

    toilets are violent!? I never knew a toilet could attack someone! Thanks for the warning, Beppo the Blog.

  3. Thomas Wayne

    Another one of those facts is troubling :

    > In 1996, President Clinton passed a law on toilet paper, taxing each roll 6 cents and increasing the price of the product to 30 cents per roll.

    I’m no math genius, but if each roll was 24 cents before the tax, and Clinton added 6 cents tax, that means he added a 25% tax to toilet paper. Is anyone else bothered by this? Where was the outrage in the news? This is the first I heard of this.

  4. Taxman



    i can say such things because nobody will do anything about it except complain and still spend 25% extra for a clean rear end. So shout all you want. I am getting richer and you middle and lower classes will just have to put up with it.

    Oh, by the way, be sure to fill up your cars with gas tomorrow because I might get the word from congress to increase the tax on that too.

    Now I hear that Mr. Destructo and Evil Genius E.D. are the prominent evil guys at this blog but let’s be honest…..I am the true evil genius.

    Fear the Taxman!

    (wait a minute, you already do.)


  5. Mr. Destructo

    I don’t fear anyone, especially not a Taxman! There’s no tax on being evil! I don’t fund your government, because I am my own government! Soon all people will pay tribute to me, for their own safety! MUWAHAHAHA!

    FYI, I’m not only the prominent evil genius at this blog, but around the world. I’m known by various other names in certain quadrants of the world, but the destruction is the same.

  6. Lisa Taylor

    Could someone please tell me WHY when you get out a new roll of Scott Toilet paper to use, it is glued so VERY SHUT that you end up losing a lot of sheets to try and rip it open. It does not open easily and trying to simply loosen to glue that is holding the first sheet that you would use is IMPOSSIBLE. It is glued so tight that you either have to get scissors or a knife to slit it or end up ripping through it and losing several layers.

    Someone needs to tell Scott to let it be loose… when we need to use it to wipe, it doesn’t take us a year to unwrap that first sheet to start the roll and we don’t end up losing what they are advertising……A LOT MORE SHEETS ON A ROLL….BUT…not if they are glued so tight you ruin sheets just to unglue it so you can use it.

    Thank you….

  7. Important Evil Genius (E.D)

    Mwa ha ha… I see you’ve discovered yet another one of my ‘master plans’ that will inevitably lead to my domination of the world! How? simple! if you’re stuck on the pot trying use the toilet paper how do you expect to be able to ‘stand’ and fight!!! (you can’t argue with logic like that!) 🙂

  8. Thomas Wayne

    IEG, I might have trouble arguing with logic, but I can argue with your stupidity… 🙂 I suppose your plan involving toilet paper might be unexpected, but I don’t see it being very useful for conquering the world. But that’s on par with the rest of your “master plans”…

    Lisa, I agree that it’s quite wasteful when they glue the sheets together. Maybe they want you to waste paper so you have to buy more. You could try Charmin — it usually opens easily. Just don’t squeeze the Charmin — I’ve heard there’s some guy that hangs out in department stores and gets mad at people who do that.

  9. Pingback: viewer mail, issue #9 « Buffet o’ Blog

  10. Beth


    > 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

    This is way too vague, making it somewhat disturbing. How is this happening? Is it from the toilet, or do people injure themselves while doing their business?

    Maybe I don’t want to know…

    Being Sick In It. I Think They Bang Their Heads o.O

  11. Pingback: 5 little known facts about the Toilet | Rescue Rooter Atlanta

  12. Pingback: launching a toilet into space « Buffet o' Blog

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