Did you run out of toilet paper during the great TP shortage of 2020? If so, how did you fare? It probably won’t make you feel any better to know that 70% of people in the world don’t even use toilet paper or that until about 140 years ago, Americans didn't use it, either.

So, how did people wipe away what didn’t belong? Some of the answers might make you wince: shards of pottery, pebbles, corncobs, and even sponges shared by several people were all used at some point in history.

One thing is for sure: this Chicago plumbing company would want nothing to do with toilet repairs that included fishing corncobs and pottery out of the pipes!

Thanks to The History Guy’s YouTube video series, History at Home, you’re able to get a quick and dirty lesson on The Remarkable History of Toilet Paper.

What may be most remarkable is how short the history of toilet paper actually is. It wasn’t that long ago that this item people were ready to throw hands over didn’t even exist. 

If you appreciate the quilted comfort of your favorite brand, thank indoor plumbing—and the desire folks had to be like the rich people of their day.

When fancy hotels started stocking guest rooms with toilet paper to go along with this new idea of indoor plumbing, the rest of the country decided their bottoms deserved the same coddling—and so a demand for toilet tissue was born.

Sure, standards were lower then than they are now—until 1935 one brand advertised their TP as being “splinter free”—but never would Americans go back to corn cobs or old newspapers!

Actually, the old newspapers may have been looking pretty good to those who couldn’t find toilet paper within 100-mile radius of their home.

The history of toilet paper is truly fascinating, and it now will have a new chapter thanks to the hoarding and near-rioting that took place in 2020 so that Americans could wipe in peace.

Check out The History Guy’s video to learn more about the history of what was once a luxury and is now an absolute necessity worth fighting over!