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1931 - The paper towel is invented (Arthur Scott, United States)



"Arthur Scott, head of [Scott Paper Company], had big trouble. An entire railroad car full of paper, unloaded at his plant, wasn't good for anything because the paper had been rolled too thick for toilet tissue, its intended purpose. Was he going to send the whole load back?

Meanwhile, Scott heard about a certain teacher in the city school system who had developed a novel idea to help fight colds in school. She gave every runny nosed student a small piece of soft paper to use. That way the roller towel in the toilets would not become contaminated with germs. Scott decided he would try to sell the carload of paper. He perforated the thick paper into small towel-size sheets and sold them as disposable paper towels. Later he renamed the product Sani-Towel and sold them to hotels , restaurants, and railroad stations for use in public washrooms.

In 1931, Scott introduced the first paper towel for the kitchen and created a whole new grocery category. He made perforated rolls of "towels" thirteen inches wide and eighteen inches long. That is how paper towels were born. It was to take many years, however, before they gained acceptance and replaced cloth towels for kitchen use."

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