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Tissue Agorà Blog

Posted By:Aug 25, 2015

Toilet paper was first used by the Chinese about 1300 years before it caught on with the rest of the world. The first references of people using toilet paper dates back to the 6th century AD in the Chinese Imperial courts and amongst the other wealthy citizens of China. This eventually spread throughout China and by the 14th century there was an annual manufacturing of around ten million packages of toilet paper in the Zhejiang province alone.

This however, did not catch on with the rest of the world for some time. Indeed, a Muslim traveler to China in the 8th century noted “They (the Chinese) are not careful about cleanliness, and they do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper.” It wouldn’t be until the late 1800s when toilet paper would be introduced in America and England and it wasn’t until the 1900s, around the same time the indoor toilet became common, that toilet paper would catch on with the masses.

So what did people use before toilet paper? What was popular depended greatly on region, personal preference, and wealth. Rich people often used hemp, lace, or wool; poor people often would poop in rivers and clean off with water, rags, wood shavings (ouch!), leaves, hay, rocks, sand, moss, sea weed, apple husks, seashells (Demolition Man much?), ferns, and pretty much whatever else was at hand and cheap/free.

The Ancient Romans favorite wiping item, including in public restrooms, was a sponge on a stick that would sit in salt water and be placed back in the salt water when done… waiting for the next person… *shudders* (kind of brings new meaning to the saying “the wrong end of the stick”)

Ancient Greeks were a little more sanitary, using stones and pieces of clay. America’s favorite wiping item tended to be corn cobs and, later, Sears and Roebucks, Farmers Almanac, and other catalogs. The Farmers Almanac even came with a hole in it so it could be easily hung in bathrooms for just this purpose.

The 16th century French writer Francois Rabelais, in his work Gargantua and Pantagruel, notes that after pooping paper was useless, “Who his foul tail with paper wipes, shall at his ballocks leave some chips.” He instead recommended that “the neck of a goose, that is well downed” worked best.

In India and other middle eastern countries, even today, the preferred method is to wipe using nothing but your left hand and water and then, of course, wash your hand well afterward and don’t handle any food or the like with your left hand; as such, people who are left handed tend to be forced to become right handed early on in those regions.

For seaman, the common thing was to use old frayed anchor cables (seriously, how their butt’s survived, we may never know). The Inuit’s and other peoples living in frigid regions tended to go with clumps of snow to wipe with, which, other than the coldness factor, is actually one of the better options it seems compared to many other of the above methods.

Around 1857, Joseph Gayetty came up with the first commercially available toilet paper in the United States. His paper “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet” was sold in packages of flat sheets that were moistened and soaked with aloe (about 130 years ahead of his time as it wasn’t until the 1990’s that toilet paper companies started doing this again). Gayetty’s toilet paper sold for about 50 cents a pack, with 500 sheets per pack. This wasn’t terribly popular, presumably because up to this point most people got their wiping materials for free from whatever was at hand.

Around 1867, brothers Edward, Clarence, and Thomas Scott, who sold products from a push cart, started making and selling toilet paper as well. They did a bit better than Gayetty, presumably because their original toilet paper wasn’t coated with aloe and moistened, thus was cheaper; rather it was more just rolls of somewhat soft paper (sometimes with splinters). They also had the somewhat innovative idea of putting the names of the companies that were buying the toilet paper on the paper. This wasn’t initially done as a business move to help sell the paper, rather was because they were uncomfortable with having their family name literally soiled. Putting the company names, such as with the Waldorf Hotel, on the toilet paper was a huge hit with the companies they were selling to and helped them stay in business where Gayetty had failed.

As the indoor flushable toilet started to become popular, so did toilet paper. This is not surprising considering there was nothing really to grab in an indoor bathroom to wipe with, unlike outdoors where nature is at your disposal. The age old Farmers Almanac and similar such catalogs also were not well suited for this purpose as in indoor plumbing it tended to clog up the pipes.

A few notable toilet paper innovations that came along were:

  • Rolled and perforated toilet paper made by the Albany Perforating Wrapping Paper Company in 1877 and shortly after the Scott Paper company in 1879.
  • In 1935 Northern Tissue boasted a “splinter free” toilet tissue, which would seem to imply that it was somewhat common for toilet tissue to have the occasional splinter before that due to poor manufacturing techniques of the day.
  • In 1942, St. Andrew’s paper mill in Great Britain introduced two-ply toilet paper.
  • In the 1990’s several toilet paper manufacturers began offering toilet paper treated with aloe, which they called a “great innovation”… as Joseph Gayetty rolls over in his grave.

Bonus Facts:

  • 44% of people wipe from front to back
  • 42% fold the tissue after wiping
  • 33% crumple
  • 8% fold and then crumple
  • 6% wrap it around their hands
  • Johnny Carson once caused a near month long toilet paper shortage in the U.S. in December of 1973. In his show, he said, “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper… There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” Americans promptly went out and bought up every piece of toilet paper they could find. Supermarkets tried to ration it, but to no avail. By noon the next day, pretty much all the nation’s supermarkets were sold out. After several days of toilet paper shortages due to this hysteria, Carson went on the air to try to explain it had been a joke and apologized. But because the shelves were almost always empty of toilet paper at this time, whenever some would come in, people would buy it all and hoard it. This toilet paper shortage lasted a full three weeks.

Source: Today I found out

Posted By:Jul 20, 2015

The group, which is called "Our Response," says the toilet rolls are a way of letting Western governments know that Russians do not respect the sanctions against their country, and showing support for the government's foreign policy, organizer Kirill Kolyasin told the local NGS Omsk site on Saturday.

The idea to produce the toilet rolls first came to Kolyasin last year, but it was only after the EU this month extended its sanctions against Russia until January that his group decided to take the idea more seriously.

Our Response commissioned 1,000 printed rolls with the intention of selling them online at a price of 990 rubles ($18) for a pack of two. The product will come sealed in a plastic casing covered with images of Western leaders, NGS Omsk reported.

The group has also sent their product to the U.S., German and British embassies, the report said.

Posted By:adminJul 1, 2015
Carta e meccanica per la carta, con il loro elevato know-how caratterizzato da innovazione e alta specializzazione, continuano a essere, insieme a numerose altre attività manifatturiere e di servizi legati a tutta la filiera (per lo più del settore metalmeccanico, ma anche di quello elettrico, elettronico e della plastica), i comparti di riferimento per l'economia lucchese, che meglio di tutti gli altri hanno saputo reagire alla crisi.

I settori cartario-cartotecnico e metalmeccanico per la carta nella nostra provincia comprendono complessivamente 120 imprese che, nell'anno 2014, hanno prodotto un fatturato superiore a 4,5 miliardi di euro e dato occupazione a 8.000 unità lavorative, rappresentando da sole oltre il 50% dell'intero fatturato e circa il 30% della forza lavoro industriale dell'intera provincia.

Il punto di forza di queste aziende resta l'alta vocazione all'esportazione che, nel 2014, ha sviluppato vendite all'estero per
1,4 miliardi di euro. Oggi, per essere competitivi, non basta più esportare solo merci, ma bisogna investire e svolgere azioni che favoriscano il radicamento sui mercati esteri. In questo loro sforzo le Pmi si stanno sempre di più organizzando con forme di aggregazione in reti d'impresa, distretti, consorzi, con l'obiettivo di migliorare i progetti di internazionalizzazione.

Questa è anche la strada percorsa da dodici imprese produttrici di macchinari all'avanguardia nelle tecnologie per la carta tissue, con 2.000 addetti, un fatturato di oltre 600 milioni di euro rivolto per il 90% alle esportazioni, che, due anni fa, hanno dato vita a Tissue Italy, il contratto di rete sostenuto fin dalla sua costituzione dalla nostra Associazione.

Tra queste protagoniste assolute di primo piano sono le aziende lucchesi.
La scelta di mettersi in rete è scaturita dalla comune volontà di queste aziende, anche concorrenti tra loro, di evidenziare e
comunicare l'eccellenza che rappresentano in questo settore per diventare punto di riferimento per il mercato globale del tissue.
La prima e principale azione sviluppata dalla rete è stata l'organizzazione dello speciale evento "It's Tissue", che ha avuto il
suo battesimo nel giugno 2013 e ha richiamato a Lucca oltre 700 operatori di tutto il mondo. La manifestazione, giunta quest'anno alla seconda edizione, si è appena conclusa ed ha confermato la sua forte attrazione, più che raddoppiando il numero di visitatori di due anni fa.
Con questa iniziativa, il distretto industriale del tissue ha avuto la capacità di unire le forze e, attraverso una formula davvero
innovativa, che va oltre il concetto di fiera tradizionale, ha dimostrato che, considerandosi parte di un comune destino e di un
comune futuro, è stato possibile affrontare meglio la crisi, perché uniti si è più forti.

Per la manifestazione "It's Tissue", la nostra città rappresenta si può dire un contenitore ideale, paragonabile a una sorta di Expo, del e nel territorio.
Infatti, per una intera settimana, e mi piace sottolinearlo con particolare evidenza, le aziende del comparto sono diventate
protagoniste di un'azione di promozione straordinaria, che ha esaltato le peculiarità della nostra provincia e, al tempo stesso, ne
ha sottolineato i valori di attrazione. In definitiva, con la presenza di numerosi visitatori provenienti da più di settanta paesi, che hanno riempito alberghi, ristoranti, visitato i nostri musei e le nostre ville, fatto acquisti nei negozi non solo del centro, le aziende hanno saputo dar vita a un modello turistico che ben si confà ad una città come la nostra, così ricca di storia, arte e cultura.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Posted By:May 20, 2015

It is a company born twice. Nearly a century later. The second birth was in 1946. Two years before, the German army retreating towards the Gothic Line found a gun loader abandoned next to the little bridge of the Pescia , which leads to the Boschi di Chievi paper mill. For the Wehrmacht officers, those munitions were the evident proof that the factory hosted a group of anti-fascist partisans. Therefore, they decided to undermine the paper mill. The family, owner of the mill, was gathered beyond the bridge, when the explosion destroyed everything. The name of the owner was Ezio Carrara; two years after the explosion he said proudly: "The Bridge and paper mill were rebuilt from every component fo the Carrara family, from young and old ones, each with their own forces."

When Ezio died, in 1956, Mario remains the sole owner of the original firm. However, it does not remain the sole owner for a long time. In fact, in the early sixties, the brothers decide to manage the paper mill together. The aim is to take over in equal parts the San Felice mill, near Pistoia, located in the Ombrone valley. With thirty employees, the mill is a small industry, which produces duplex and triplex cardboards, shoeboxes, die-cut, trays for cakes, collars for shirts; to sum up it produced called packing paper. The world of paper, in fact, is divided into three. At the top is the one for printing and writing. Then there is the packaging one. The third sector is now called "tissue" and includes all hygienic and sanitary products dealing with personal care. In those years he is about to explode.

In Italy, the toilet paper came with the war and US army, and for some times, it was used exclusively by Americans. It happened, however, that a big German supermarket chain, Aldi, decided to rebel against this domain, relying on European manufacturers, particularly Italian. So, in Lucca it was born and flourished the paper district. For the industry, it is a crucial moment.

Even Mario Carrara soon realized the potential of toilet paper.So he tried to gain market shares by differentiating the production. At the time, the standard machine was 180 cm long. He aimed to widen it, so it ordered a machinery in the United States nearly triple in size, which would be the first for Italy. By using this machine, he could multiply the production and adapt it to a “mass” level. It is about to sign the deal, when the American company backtracks. He will have to wait ten years to have a similar plant. "However, the market exploded in his hands. He got to produce 400,000 tons of tissue paper per year, not only in Italy but also in France, Spain and England, "s ays Marco today. The company expanded, bought a paper mill in Castelnuovo Garfagnana, then other plants in Capannori and Lucca. In the late Seventies, it was created CartoInvest, a holding company that grouped the various paper mills. Moreover, in a short time, he got the license for Italy to produce the Kleenex brand.

In 2002, the business was sold. The Swedish SCA, number two worldwide in the tissue industry, bought the mills. The family remains owner of some small plants, including the historic paper mill located in Boschi di Chievi.

Four years later, the family repurchases almost all the paper mills. They change their core business from toilet paper to AFH products. Now they are the eighth producers of tissue paper in the world and one of the most ancient families of paper producers.

Source: Il Corriere della Sera

Posted By:adminMar 25, 2015

Sales of luxury toilet paper are being heralded as the newest way to measure the economy - and judging by our current spending habits things in Britain are looking up.

Spending on products for short-term use is crucial in revealing how confident a country's population are in their own economic prospects - and luxury loo paper sales suggest the recession is well and truly over.

A report by market intelligence firm Euromonitor International found the UK stands out among the European countries as only 5.3 per cent of £1.9billion toilet paper sales were made up from the cheaper brands. 

The analysts found although top brands like Cushelle, Andrex and Velvet are a little pricier, they are a luxury most people can afford.

They said in the report: 'While the idea of luxury toilet paper may be slightly odd, its performance suggests otherwise.' 

They added that toilet paper has become the barometer for how confident people are in their economy and whether they can afford a minor splurge.

Waitrose recently announced that premium toilet tissue sales are up 12 per cent year on year.

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