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Jones' Prepared Paper for the Million

Object Name: Toilet paper
Date: ca. 1868
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Medium: Printed paper exterior with paper sheets
Dimensions: Overall: 3 1/2 x 5 7/8 x 1/2 in. ( 8.9 x 14.9 x 1.3 cm )
Description: Pocket-size package of toilet paper sheets in folding cardboard "wallet"; front printed "JONES' / PREPARED PAPER / FOR THE MILLION / Pocket Package Ten Cents." with image of clouds, lightning bolts, and winged lion; reverse printed "PATENT APPLIED FOR. / ENTERED ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS, IN THE YEAR 1868, BY JAMES JONES, IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK" and "Manufactured by / JAMES C. MORTIMER, AG'T. / Office, 29 Beekman Street, / NEW YORK. / SOLD BY DRUGGISTS AND NEWS AGENTS. / Address P. O. Box 4603." Interior has individual square 5 ½" square sheets of toilet paper held by metal pin at one end.
Credit Line: Gift of Alice Kugelman
Object Number: 2007.1
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Inscribed: 'JONES' / PREPARED PAPER / FOR THE MILLION / POCKET PACKAGE TEN CENTS. with image of clouds, lightning bolts, and winged lion; reverse printed PATENT APPLIED FOR. / ENTERED ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS, IN THE YEAR 1868, BY JAMES JONES, IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

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This pocket-sized package of toilet paper dates to around 1868, just over a decade after the invention of commercial toilet paper. New York City can lay claim to the dubious distinction of producing the first factory-made toilet paper, invented by Joseph C. Gayetty in 1857 and marketed as "Gayetty's Medicated Paper." These loose, flat sheets of manila hemp paper were pre-moistened and medicated with aloe. Perforated paper was introduced in 1877, and in 1879 the Scott Paper Company sold the first toilet paper on a roll. Prior to the introduction of commercial toilet paper, newspaper and other printed papers were commonly used. Pages from the Farmer's Almanac were a popular choice, and later editions have holes punched in them so they could be hung from a hook in outhouses.