Toilet Paper

Could you live without toilet paper?

  • Toilet paper is an invention typically used to clean body waste off oneself, without using direct hand contact.
  • Light and soft pulped paper is the typical material of toilet paper, and it may be layered one to three times, making it one to three ply paper.
  • Toilet paper generally breaks down in sewage systems, making it moderately environmentally friendly, although it is not always the case with the product manufacturing process.
  • ‘Toilet paper’ is also known as ‘toilet roll’, ‘dunny paper’, ‘bathroom tissue’, ’tissue’, and ‘bathroom paper’, and the product is commonly stored in a bathroom, on a rod attached to a wall or a floor base, as a dispenser.
  • Generally, a sheet of toilet paper is almost square in shape and is usually around 10 centimetres (4 inches) across, or a little longer than it is wide.

Toilet Paper, White, Ten Random Facts, Lavender, Pattern, Invention, Bathroom, Hook,

  • Paper, similar to toilet paper for wiping body waste, has been evident since 500 AD in Chinese culture.
  • Although most often white in colour, toilet paper can depict a printed pattern, or it can be other bright colours, such as purple, blue or green; and it is usually purchased as a continuous length, rolled onto a cardboard tube that is sometimes scented.
  • One of the costs of producing toilet paper around the world is the loss of 27,000 trees each day, the amount required to produce approximately 83 million rolls.
  • Modern toilet paper is commonly accepted to have been invented in 1857 by Joseph Gayetty, from the United State’s New York, although the invention was largely ignored until the prominence of indoor toilets in the 1900s.
  • Toilet paper substitutes that have been used in the past include corn cobs, snow, water, wool, vegetation, rags, lace, wood shavings, seashells and sponges, although in the early stages, the modern invention was not without its hazards, as splinters from the product were not uncommon.
Bibliography:
Huskey D, Toilet Paper wasn’t Commonly Used in the United States Until the Early 20th Century, 2012, Today I Found Out, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/07/toilet-paper-wasnt-commonly-used-in-the-united-states-until-the-early-20th-century/
McRobbie L, Toilet Paper History: How America Convinced the World to Wipe, 2009, Mental Floss, http://mentalfloss.com/article/23210/toilet-paper-history-how-america-convinced-world-wipe
Toilet Paper, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper

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Plastic Wrap

Do you get frustrated wrapping up food with plastic wrap?

  • Plastic wrap is an invention that is generally used to cover food objects and keep them airtight, or to bundle loose items.
  • ‘Plastic wrap’ is also known as ‘Glad wrap’, ‘cling film’, ‘Saran wrap’, ‘cling wrap’ and ‘food wrap’.
  • Typically, plastic wrap is rolled around a cylinder that is purchased in a box, that generally features an attached, toothed metal bar for cutting.
  • Plastic wrap was originally made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which is notoriously hard to recycle and its toxicity has been questionable, however low density polyethylene (LDPE) is becoming more common, and manufacturers have been continually improving their products to create totally non-toxic food wraps.
  • Plastic wrap is commonly used to cover plates, bowls or other dishes, especially leftovers, to protect and seal the food they contain, often for storage in the refrigerator.

Glad Wrap, Plastic, Thin, Cover, Roll, Clear, Transparent, Ten Random Facts, Food, Culinary, Invention

  • The accidental invention of plastic wrap in 1933 is attributed to Ralph Wiley from Dow Chemical, and the substance was originally used by the military as a spray on planes and other vehicles, to protect them from rust and other deterioration.
  • Plastic wrap usually sticks to itself, and it also generally adheres to smooth surfaces, making it a flexible system for sealing all sorts of items of varying shapes and sizes; and wrap with similar qualities is used to bind items as small as a rolled newspaper, or as a large as a pallet-load of goods.
  • Plastic wrap was not developed as a food wrap until 1949, when it was first used in the food industry, and it was not until 1953 that it was available for home use.
  • Plastic wrap boxes usually have tabs on either end of the box, that can be pushed inside the box to hold the roll in place as the wrap is pulled from the roll.
  • Plastic wrap for home use usually comes in rolls that are 29 to 33 cm (11.5 to 13 inches) wide, and in varying lengths from 15 to 150 metres (16.4 to 164 yards), although much wider and longer rolls are available in the catering industry.
Bibliography:
Plastic Wrap, 2015, MadeHow, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Plastic-Wrap.html
Plastic Wrap, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_wrap
What is Plastic Wrap, 2015, WiseGEEK, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-plastic-wrap.htm
Who Invented Plastic Wrap, 2015, Who Invented It?, http://www.whoinventedit.net/who-invented-plastic-wrap.html

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Curtain

Do you live in a house without a single curtain?

  • Curtains are an invention typically used to slightly or fully block light, vision, water, or a specific view.
  • ‘Curtains’ are also known as ‘drapes’, and they are typically used on windows, in doorways, in showers or on a stage.
  • Curtains are usually made of fabric of various thicknesses, and they are generally classified as ‘sheer’, ‘uncoated’ or ‘coated’.
  • Many curtains can be moved open or closed, often using human energy; by a string pulley; or mechanical interaction.
  • ‘Curtain’ comes from the word ‘cortine’, which can be translated from the Old French word for the same meaning, and it has its origins in Latin and Greek.
Curtains, Red, White, Scene, Bedroom, Window, Ten Random Facts, House,
Photo courtesy of Val Laird
  • Curtains have been used for thousands of years, and those called ‘portières’, were commonly draped over doorways in Ancient Greek and Roman culture.
  • Curtain designs became notably exquisite and extravagant during the Victorian era, and they were used to dress windows, as well as doorways.
  • Curtains became increasingly widespread by the 1900s, when nearly every building contained at least one curtain.
  • Colours, materials, shapes and sizes vary greatly among curtains; and different designs, particularly heights and materials, have different purposes.
  • Curtains are generally held to a specific spot using hooks, rings, buttons or rods, or a combination of these.
Bibliography:
Curtain, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtain
Curtain, 2015, Encyclopaedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/147125/curtain/

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Napkin

How would you politely wipe your face without a napkin?

  • Napkins are pieces of material used to politely remove food from one’s face and hands.
  • ‘Napkins’ are also known as ‘face towels’ and ‘serviettes’, and are most commonly manufactured white, as the colour symbolises cleanliness and gives a fresh feel.
  • Napkins are typically made from fabric, that can be washed and reused; or paper, that are usually disposed of after use.
  • Napkins are often square or rectangular in shape; often patterned in design; and are commonly folded for aesthetic purposes.
  • ‘Napkin’ derives from the word ‘nape’, the Old French word for a tablecloth or towel, that originally comes from the Latin word for map, ‘mappa’, and ‘kin’ is the word for ‘little’ in Middle English.

Napkin, White, Paper, Disposable, Pile, Ten Random Facts, Many, Culinary, Invention

  • For table settings, napkins are generally placed to the left of the fork on the table; in the middle of a plate; wrapped around cutlery; grouped together in a specially designed holder; or placed in a ring usually to the left of the fork.
  • Early napkins are believed to have originated as slices of a type of bread, used by those from ancient Greece; ancient Chinese used paper; while ancient Romans are said to have used cloth, that eventually became popular by the 1500s.
  • Napkins normally range in sizes of 13 by 13 centimetres (5 by 5 inches), up to 51 by 56 centimetres (20 by 22 inches).
  • Napkins come in a variety of colours and patterns, can be customised with text and imagery, and are not always strictly a rectangular or square shape.
  • Napkins are often folded into triangles, but also many other shapes, often utilising origami methods to create flowers. cranes and other designs, and paper ones are often purchased already folded in quarters.
Bibliography:
Napkin, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napkin
Napkins, 2014, Napkin Folding Styles, http://www.napkinfoldingstyles.com/napkins/

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Hook and Loop Fastener

Hook into these facts about hook and loop fasteners.

  • Hook and loop fasteners are two different textile strips or shapes that have numerous tiny hooks on one strip or shape, that grip onto tiny loops on the other strip or shape.
  • ‘Hook and loop fasteners’ are also known as ‘touch fasteners’, and are also commonly referred to by the original brand name of the product, ‘Velcro’.
  • Hook and loop fasteners hold together by pressure or can be detached from each other by force, and make a sound of ‘ripping’ when being detached.
  • Hook and loop fasteners were invented in Switzerland by native George de Mestral, an engineer, with the idea being born in 1941, although it took him ten years to produce a successful mechanical process to make the product and he applied for a patent for it in 1951.
  • Hook and loop fasteners are based on natural burr seeds, said to be from burdock plants (Arctium), that hook with strength on clothing and animal fur, and the brand name ‘Velcro’ comes from the French words ‘velours’, meaning ‘velvet’ and ‘crochet’ which means ‘hook’.

Hook and loop fastener, velcro, black, white, strips, rectangular, Ten Random Facts, Invention

  • Some brands of hook and loop fasteners can hold 79 kilograms (175 pounds) with only 26 square centimetres (4 square inches) of the material.
  • Hook and loop fasteners are generally made from nylon, usually with the addition of polyester, although they can be made from other materials like Teflon for special purposes.
  • Hook and loop fasteners sometimes have a self adhesive backing and can be attached to items with this method or other glue, or they can be sewn onto fabrics with thread, and sometimes they have hooks on one side and loops on the back.
  • Hook and loop fasteners did not become significantly popular until the 1970s and 1980s, and can now be found in most homes, on clothes, shoes and bags, although it has numerous other uses, in vehicles, toys, furniture, space shuttles, hospitals and more.
  • Hook and loop fasteners can unintentionally collect dirt, hair and fluff, and the loops and hooks can wear after excessive use.
Bibliography:
The History of Hook and Loop Fasteners, n.d, Speedtech International, Inc, http://www.speedtechinternational.com/history-of-velcro.aspx
Hook and Loop Fastener, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_and_loop_fastener
Velcro, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velcro

 

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Polyethylene Terephthalate

Polyethylene terephthalate – a lengthy compound.

  • ‘Polyethylene terephthalate’ is also known as ‘PET’, ‘PETE’, ‘PETP’, ‘PET-P’ and ‘Dacron’, which is a brand name.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate is a strong, light and safe plastic that is often made into containers to store foodstuff or liquids such as drinks, film – often for the packaging industry, and it is also used significantly in the textile industry.
  • Of all the production of polyethylene terephthalate, approximately 30% is used in plastic bottles and more than 60% is produced as textile fibre.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate is a type of polyester, and is named as such when used in textiles.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate is made of a chemical structure of (C10H8O4)n.

PET, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Bottle, Code, PETE, 1, recycling, Plain, Bottom, Ten Random Facts

  • Polyethylene terephthalate is fully recyclable and has a recycling code of ‘1’, by which PET can be recognised.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate was first patented in 1941 by chemists from England, named John Whinfield and James Dickson, invented for textile purposes.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate is made from two organic compounds, dimethyl terephthalate and ethylene glycol that go through a heating and distilling process.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate has become a very popular recycled material, as it can be recycled a number of times, and is generally converted to flakes or pellets to be further processed into fibres, film or formed in moulds, which are often made into carpets, fabrics, containers and other items.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate is typically transparent when in thin sheets, but can be opaque when thick.
 Bibliography:
PET Basics, n.d, NAPCOR, http://www.napcor.com/pdf/v4-11_NAPCOR_PET_Interactive.pdf
Polyethylene terephthalate, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_terephthalate

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