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Which Way Should Toilet Paper Be Put On A Holder? Original 1891 Patent Solves The Mystery (Photos)

| by Sean Kelly

For what seems like an eternity, one debate has plagued families, couples, friends and turned them into enemies. What some believe to be a matter of opinion and preference, others view as a sacred rule not to be broken. But with someone digging up a patent from 1891 and posting it on Consumerist website, this great debate is settled. Finally, an answer to one of life's most important questions: Should toilet paper drape over or under on the holder?

The original patent for the toilet paper roll, drawn up by Seth Wheeler in 1891, revealed just how the inventor intended his roll to be positioned for optimum use. Sorry, team "under." It looks as though Wheeler intended for the paper to be dispensed in an "over" position. 

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"My invention consists of a roll of paper for wrapping or toilet use so constructed that the points of attachment and severance between the sheets will be alternately out of parallel lines running through the whole body of the sheets, so that a pull upon the free end of the web will not be transmitted in a direct line through a series of sheets, but will be diverted by the spaces opposite the connecting points of the sheet pulled upon, thereby producing a transverse strain upon the next line of connecting points sufficient to break them," Wheeler wrote.

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"In carrying out my invention the sheets of paper are only partially separated, having their points of attachment arranged in a novel (manner), whereby each sheet will easily separate from the series as it is drawn from the roll, there being no litter occasioned, and any waste of paper is thereby prevented.”

The patent was originally issued in 1871. The roll design was added in 1891. 

Sources: The Blaze, Consumerist

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Google Patents via Consumerist