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How A Stray Cat Exposed a Mother's Heart, These Guys Use Dungeons and Dragons as a Break-through Therapy Tool and A Brief History of Toilet Paper

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
July 6, 2022 3:05 am

How A Stray Cat Exposed a Mother's Heart, These Guys Use Dungeons and Dragons as a Break-through Therapy Tool and A Brief History of Toilet Paper

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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July 6, 2022 3:05 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Brent Timmons tells us how an unlikely cat revealed a deep love inside of him. Adam Davis and Adam Johns tell us how they met in grad school at Antioch University, and how they've been using table-top games as a tool to encourage personal growth, teamwork, and problem solving. The History Guy gives us the story of toilet paper.

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Time Codes:

00:00 - How A Stray Cat Exposed a Mother's Heart

10:00 - These Guys Use Dungeons and Dragons as a Break-through Therapy Tool

35:00 - A Brief History of Toilet Paper

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This is Lee Habib, and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people.

To search for the Our American Stories podcast, go to the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcast. Up next comes a story from a regular contributor, Brent Timmons of Delaware. Take it away, Brent. I don't even like cats for reasons too numerous to mention, starting with the fact my allergic reaction to them ruined my entire childhood. But this one turned up in the form of a newborn kitten. Apparently its mother, likely a stray that the neighbor feeds, was in the midst of moving it from one place to another and got as far as the middle of our driveway.

I found it as I was headed out to work on a Monday morning. I went back in the house and told Tina, annoyed because this shouldn't be our problem, and squeamish because the chances of its survival were minimal. We hoped that the mother would soon return and finish the transport.

Perhaps I caught the incident in progress. So I left for work, and Tina was going to move it if the mother didn't show up soon. Tina called a friend who works with a veterinarian and asked about whether moving the kitten would hinder the mother from picking it back up. Apparently not, so she moved it off into some ground cover beside the driveway. And there the kitten rested, all day long.

The mother did not return, and possibly never would. It so happened that a cat was hit by a car down the street as the day unfolded. We didn't know for sure, but it may have been the mother cat. To make matters worse, our young, tender-hearted 12 year old Asher found the kitten and reported it to his mother, who directed him to me. Daddy, there's a kitten in the yard. What should we do? I told him we were hoping the mother would pick it up, but we didn't think it was going to live.

We should let it be for now. At this point, the whole kitten incident was defeating me. I couldn't imagine nursing it, and began to consider the best way to euthanize the poor thing. Nature had a way of dealing with this kind of event. Surely by Tuesday morning, she would have dealt with it so I didn't have to. Tuesday morning came, and I went out early to see how nature had done overnight before the boys went off to school. The kitten was lying there where we had left it. It should have been dead by that point. Then it let out a pitiful meow. Nature had failed, and went back in and reported nature's failure to Tina. How about I call your dad, she asked.

Excellent idea. He had the time and stomach to deal with this. Before Tina called him, she called our vet friend back, who offered to look at the cat. Dad volunteered to take the kitten.

Later in the day, I got the news. A home had been found for the kitten. My dad couldn't bear to leave it with the vet. He brought it home, and my mother would bottle feed it. They had enjoyed the company of cats in the past.

A cat for them was a good fit. I didn't know the details at the moment. I assumed there was a conversation between him and mom as he considered what to do, with my mom suggesting he bring it back home. I pictured him doing this, because it is his character to treat my mother in this kind of loving way. As it turned out, it may have been as much my dad's desire as hers.

I suspect they both reached the decision simultaneously. Mom brought the kitten to Asher's baseball game that evening, settled in a blanket and a sack. She treated it like a newborn baby, with the same care and love. It was drinking every couple of hours, and looked content, like a kitten should.

This was a good thing. Wednesday morning, mom texted that the little kitten wasn't doing well. It had stopped drinking. Mom had talked to my sister-in-law about it, and she knew of a family with a cat who had a two-week-old litter of kittens. Perhaps the mother cat would take our little kitten. After a thirty-five minute ride, the kitten was united with the surrogate mother, who accepted it immediately as its own. And then Thursday morning, I got another text from mom.

The kitten had died overnight. Mom was deeply saddened by the loss of the kitten. At least it was loved, I told her.

Yes, that is some comfort, she said, but I can't believe how emotional I am about this. I can, mom, because that's who you are. You are a mother at heart, in all situations. It is what defines you as a great mother, and a great person, and it is why we are privileged to have you as our mother. And a terrific job on the production and the editing and storytelling by Aaron Phillips, and a special thanks to Brent Timmons of Delaware.

He's a regular contributor, and I love the way that story started with brutal honesty. I don't like cats. And a lot of people are cat people, and a lot of people aren't. But in the end, that tug of that living, well, that living, lonely, helpless creature, well, it won his heart enough to move that cat to his mom, who loved that cat for a little time.

It was on this earth. And in the end, what a salute to motherhood, and what a salute by Brent to his own mom, who was born to do just that, nurture thing. And indeed, that's what mothers do. And by the way, if you have a pet story, your first pet, or anything like it, there's something special about the relationship between us and our animals. Send them to That's The story of a kitten, the story of Brent Timmons, and the story of his mother, here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country, stories from our big cities and small towns but we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to and click the donate button.

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Simply go to or contact your local agent today. And we continue with our American stories and now we bring you the story of Game to Grow, a nonprofit that uses Dungeons and Dragons as a tool in therapy. Here to explain what they do are Adam Johns and Adam Davis. As we talk to people kind of around the country and especially people who are not in the gaming or kind of geek atmosphere or culture, oftentimes they assume Dungeons and Dragons is a video game. So here's here's how I usually describe it. There's one person who acts as the sort of head storyteller and referee of the game. And they know most of the rules and they can explain most of the rules to the game. And that person is usually referred to as the dungeon master or the game master. And they sit at the head of the table and they describe stuff that's happening in the world. And then everybody else who's sitting at the table is just playing a character in that world, a single character. And they have a piece of paper that tells them things like how strong their character is or what kind of equipment they have or what kinds of abilities they have.

And this all takes place in a fantasy world much like Lord of the Rings where there are swords and bow and arrow and full suits of armor and of course magical spells. And the dungeon master might describe something like all of you have decided to venture into this dark cave where you can see that there are there's mildew growing on the walls there's mold and there is a dripping coming from the stalactites in the ceiling. You're here because you've heard of a tremendous treasure that apparently was lost in these caves a long time ago and you've decided you're going to go after that treasure maybe even you have a map to help guide you through. And as you travel further down into the cave it's very dark but you can see that the walls have been carved out like somebody has carved them with man-made tools. And you travel deeper and deeper into this cave system until finally you open up into a large room. And in this large room you can see across the way is a door on the other side of a very large gap and the gap seems to stretch very far down into the ground.

But the thing that really catches your eye is that hanging above the gap clinging for dear life appears to be a small gnome man and he's hanging from a rope and he sees you as you walk in and he shouts to you oh my gosh thank you so much for being here I'm so happy somebody finally showed up please help me. And at this point in time the Dungeon Master then says what do you do? And all of the players at the table get to decide what their character does to sort of overcome this this challenge or this situation. So they might do all sorts of things a warrior character might leap across the pit and try to grab the gnome to save him from from falling down into the pit. A ranger or an archer character might shoot a bow with a rope tied to it and tightrope walk across the the pit and save the gnome that way.

Or a wizard character who can cast magic spells might use a magic spell to pull the rope and get it swinging so the gnome might be able to jump off. And no matter what they do they're gonna do it together because all the players at the table are all working on a team together they're not competing with each other instead they are working cooperatively towards a common goal and in this case the common goal of the game is not the most points it's not even to achieve a particular goal even in this case of the example I gave you're not trying to get treasure you're trying to tell a story. And that's one of the really brilliant things about games like Dungeons & Dragons is that the point of the game is to tell a story and because that's really the goal of the game because that's really the place that you're trying to get to everybody at the table might have a different idea for what that story looks like but they know they're all working towards that goal. And that's what really turns it into a brilliant and amazing experience as the dungeon master continues to describe things in the world continues to describe whether or not the players attempts to do those things are successful and the players get to roll dice to help add randomness and help determine the outcomes of their action and get to really have the most open-ended gaming experience you can possibly have where they can decide and try anything that comes to their minds in a very loose rule system that allows you to be very flexible with the outcomes of it.

A lot of game masters to my chagrin I don't like the fact that they often see themselves as adversaries of the players there's oftentimes an antagonistic relationship where the game master sees themselves as needing to challenge and there's like a haha your characters are going to die today because my monsters are going to be stronger than them and we don't do anything like that. Our goal as game masters is very much to challenge the players but also to keep them engaged and keep them excited so we do that by challenging them the right amount building on their ideas while they build on our space on our ideas because we are co-creating and collaborating in this game where that's oftentimes for many of our players the first time an adult has said what do you care about what do you want to do so then the players now see an adult who is playing with them really playing with them in a way that is very healing to a lot of a lot of participants especially ours who are identified at school as as oftentimes being an outcast people tell them what to do all the time very rarely say what do you care about what is something that you want out of life and so this is an opportunity where they can push boundaries and see what happens when they take up space and then have an adult be excited about the choices that they're making. We started doing what we're doing right now using Dungeons and Dragons in therapeutic social skills groups largely by accident. Adam and I both started playing Dungeons and Dragons when we were pretty young got a lot out of it we played games with our friends we got to use all the all the mechanics of the games and the storytelling of the game to really get a lot of social outlet when we were kids. I Adam Davis was studying drama therapy because I had wanted to use the the drama games and experiences that I had had as a performer and then as a drama teacher to help kids help kids become more into themselves and learn about themselves and then how they can interact with the world better. And so Adam and I met in grad school and I started picking up an after school program that was a Dungeons and Dragons program for quirky kids who needed a little little guidance and social support.

And I took the game over and realized that Dungeons and Dragons is actually a perfect modality for sit down drama therapy. So we started using the game a little more intentionally and then just barely scratching the surface. And then when my facilitator at the time left to go pursue other interests there was an opening and I knew Adam from grad school. So we had kind of like done that thing where we we brought some things from our personal lives and sort of a get to know you activity in the very beginning of the quarter and both Adam and I brought dice. We knew from across the room that we're both named Adam we both liked dice and games and so we knew we were kindred spirits. So we had that great moment that sort of nerd nod from across the room. And then after the class Adam Davis came up to me and he said hey do you want to get paid to come and play improv games and Dungeons and Dragons and I was like yeah that sounds that sounds like the best.

And at the time the group was really just a sort of drop in social group. And then when we came in we started saying there's a lot we can do with this. And we were both in a state of sort of master's program desire to want to use all the amazing theories and all the amazing stuff that we were learning. And we really had this tremendous opportunity to start diving in saying oh my gosh we're this this is exactly what we can be using all of these amazing theories all these amazing things that we're learning and we can apply them right here but through the game of Dungeons and Dragons that we grew up playing. And when we return we're going to hear more from Adam Johns and Adam Davis game to grow and my goodness I never thought of anything like this before but by the way people who naysay and talk down so many of the games that young boys and girls play I don't think see the virtues a lot of these games and a lot of the social skills that can be learned playing them and particularly Dungeons and Dragons because of its creative space.

So when we come back more of this story Adam John's story and Adam Davis's story their story here on our American stories. I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop but for small business insurance I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot and I stay cool and confident. See they're small business owners too so they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner and on it. Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean that can be overwhelming for anyone. So if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs. My family we definitely have sensitive skin so the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes just know that all free clear mega packs they have your back.

Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. And we return to our American stories and the story of game to grow and by the way they hail from Kirkland Washington and now back to the story of Adam Davis and Adam Johns and how one of their childhood treasures turned into a grad school exercise and ultimately a full time occupation in therapy. We got our first group going the parents saw the outcomes the parents started talking to other parents inviting us to speak at other engagements and then all of a sudden the ball started to roll and then before we knew it we have continued to grow and we are now full time therapeutic game masters and executive directors of game to grow. We have a sort of a theory at game to grow where players play the characters that they need to play. So we have a lot of players who like I said are socially isolated who don't have a lot of social aptitude and they don't really have a lot of experience being charismatic or confident but they pick characters who are aspirational. A lot of players come in and they pick characters who are military leaders who have on their character sheet that they are very charismatic that people believe in them and so we know right away that that's something that these young people want to play with and want to explore. We have players that come in choosing to play characters that are very similar to themselves lone wolves who are very isolated in the game and then we can help that character grow and thus the player grow and that lone wolf character who wants to go off and solve every problem by themselves. Now we put them in a situation in the game where their character needs to rely on somebody else because Dungeons and Dragons is a fellowship game. It's a game where every character has a unique and special ability that that makes them special and that's a great life lesson is that you can't do everything by yourself and people are going to rely on you and you are going to rely on people and here's what that looks like to ask for help and here's how good it feels to be able to be the person who can step up and help out the team. In one particular instance where a player really made a choice that I was not expecting the characters had all made their way through this dungeon and they came up into a room where there was in one corner of the room a massive troll of legend who had been imprisoned there and in the other corner of the room was a series of three unlabeled switches and across the other side of the room was a metal door that was closed and it quickly was explained to the players that one of the three unlabeled switches would open the door on the other side of the room allowing them to progress further into their dungeon and the other two switches when pulled together would release the massive troll of legend upon the players but also upon the world itself and usually how this works is that it's sort of an interesting challenge where the players can talk to the troll they can figure out is the troll lying to us about which switch is which and it's sort of a mix of a puzzle and a social challenge. In this case we had one player who had just joined the group and the player had described their character as being impulsive and having a lot of hyperactivity and it was an appropriate character for that player to play because that player also struggled with those exact same challenges and that player said I run across the room and I pull all three switches at once and I've run that scenario several times that was the first time anybody had ever just decided to pull all three switches so all of a sudden I had to decide what's going to happen here and what are the consequences of effectively just running ahead and all the other players at the table had gotten out like graph paper and they were getting ready to solve the puzzle and they just stood and stared slack-jawed at their teammate who might have just done them all in and what I said was the troll runs across the room and he picks up the impulsive player's character getting ready to eat them whole and all the other characters I said you're the players at the table I said you can leave now the door is open but if you leave you'll be leaving your teammate to be eaten by this this massive troll of legend and you'll also be leaving the troll to wreak havoc upon the world you need to decide what your characters would do here they are heroes in this world what would they do and they turn and they debated it with each other and they eventually decided that they would help their teammate and so they entice the troll back into the cage and reimprison the troll and at the end of that session we always do a check out at the end of every session at the end of that session there the players all checked out with each other and the impulsive player said I'm really glad that you guys helped me out there because my character is really impulsive and it's clear that they're gonna have to learn how to be less impulsive and I'm hoping that your characters will help teach them that and one of the other players at the table also said in the checkout I'm super glad that you did that because we're all here to basically learn how to navigate the space how to learn these skills and be better at this and your character doing that helped make me feel like like I really belong here I struggle with some of the same challenges and it helped me feel like I belong and it was an amazing moment for them to realize that they're all in a similar place and they've all struggled to make friends to connect with people and this is a place where that doesn't matter where they can all get along and where they can maybe have missteps but they can feel a sense of acceptance here part of our mission is to get more games into more communities around the country and around the world we have traveled and we've done presentations and trainings for therapists who want to get involved so what we've seen is that a lot of therapists don't have a lot of experience with role-playing games and then the big barrier to entry they hear the stories they get excited they want to participate in this emerging intervention strategy but they've they're under experienced in game like Dungeons and Dragons so one of our missions is to create a product that they can then take and it'll help them get started much faster this project is called critical core it is a beginner box for therapeutic game masters to start helping their participants almost right out of the box so it's got a really simplified rule set it's got a facilitator's guide for how to facilitate the game to be a positive pro-social environment with all the improv and all the stuff that we have added on as incorporating the play therapy and drama therapy that we have into our game but then also it's got a very specific module design where the storylines are directly related to a real-world areas of social growth so we might have the room that fills up with lava and that's a way to build frustration tolerance or the players have to go and get past a guard and that guard might have a slightly downturned mouth that looks like a frown and then we can work on theory of mind skills and perspective taking where now we can talk about nonverbal social cues and the fact that that guard being sad or upset has nothing to do with you you have no idea why he's making that facial expression but in order to get past the guard into the next room in the dungeon or in the castle we have to be able to relate to him understand him and communicate with him so that those three components going into critical core I think will really be how we can get this project out there we like Microsoft's vision of a computer on every desk we want a game in every desk a game in every school a game in every hospital a game in every clinic and therapists office that is our mission so we don't want people to just game more we want people to game better don't just game game to grow and what an interesting story at first when I was reading about it I thought why should I care but as so often happens here on this show you start to hear the story and you go my goodness what an interesting way to do therapy therapeutic game masters and it just well it makes sense and we've been telling Adam Johns and Adam Davis's story great job on this Robbie Robbie just sort of bumped into it these guys are in Kirkland Washington we love to tell stories from all over this great country big ones small ones again Adam Johns and Adam Davis game to grow and I love what they said don't just game more game better this is our American stories I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop but for small business insurance I need my State Farm agent they make sure my business stays piping hot and I stay cool and confident see they're small business owners too so they know how to help you best State Farm is in your corner and on it like a good neighbor State Farm is there call your local State Farm agent for a quote today doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done I mean that can be overwhelming for anyone so if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life try all free clear mega packs all free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry all free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs which my family we definitely have sensitive skin so the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes just know that all free clear mega packs they have your back purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types this is our american stories and we tell stories about everything here on this show and our next story comes to us from a man who's simply known as the history guy his videos are watched by hundreds of thousands of people of all ages on youtube the history guy is also heard here at our american stories here's the history guy with the story of toilet paper for much of history in many societies wiping was done with things that were commonly available and disposable grass leaves moss straw even snow and well in some ways it seems a puerile discussion actually it tells us something about culture for example ancient greeks used bits of pottery to scrape themselves clean and there's evidence that they sometimes used ostracized ostracized were pieces of pottery that had a name inscribed on them and it was part of a voting process on whether a person was so bad that they should be kicked out of a community or ostracized and so if a greek was using an ostracized for toilet purposes in essence they were wiping their bottom with their enemy's name and reusing ostracized in that purpose tells us something about the ancient greek sense of humor as well as the extent to which they carried a grudge the romans used a tool called a xylospongium which was essentially a bit of a sponge on a stick wealthy romans might have their own personal xylospongium but for the most part they were communally used based on latrines which might accommodate 10 to 20 patrons at a time the sponge would be rinsed in a mixture of water salt and vinegar sponges would have been breeding grounds for bacteria and some historians suggest they serve to spread infectious disease and the items used for this purpose certainly depended upon wealth and social class with one startling example being the position of groom of the stool which served the english monarchs from at least the 15th century all the way up to the 20th century the purpose of the position was to have a servant who was responsible for helping the king while he was doing his business and the first known person to have the position then called yeoman of the stool was one william grimsby in 1455 it's not really clear if the person was directly responsible for wiping the king's backside but one of their responsibilities was to make sure that there was blanket cotton or linen to wipe the nether end while the position would seem to be one of the less savory in fact it became a highly prized position the groom of the stool referring to the king's close stool which was black velvet infringed with silk with two pewter basins and four broad yards of tawny cloth was one of a few attendants who shared true private time and able to speak intimately with the king although not a member of the privy council the groom was often more privy to the king's private thoughts than the king's closest advisors in fact the groom of the stool would often have so much access to the king's private thoughts that other courtiers were afraid of them for the secrets they held over time the position expanded to include control of the affairs of the king's inner rooms including making sure the king was well dressed the position included perks like being given the king's old clothes and furnishings people would petition the groom to advocate on their behalf so that he could use his private time with the king to help someone gain a prized position the position gained such broad responsibilities and prestige that it was often held by persons of high nobility the position continued through the hanavarian kings but was in abeyance under victoria and finally eliminated by her son edward vii in 1901 not surprisingly the first culture to use paper for their bathroom needs was the chinese where paper was invented perhaps as early as the 8th century bc in general most people would have used leftover scraps of paper but paper specifically for use in the toilet was being mass produced in china as early as the 14th century although that might have been largely reserved to the wealthy and much of it used by the emperor's court paper didn't make it to europe until the 11th century the process was done by hand pressing fibers on a screen mold but johan guttenberg's invention of the movable type printing press around 1440 caused a printing revolution in europe and greatly increased demand for paper and paper making became an industry while people were likely using paper scraps in the bathroom in europe as soon as paper reached the continent in practice paper was expensive and would hardly have been used for such purpose there were however exceptions 16th century english churchman john bale mourned that books dispersed from the dissolution of the monasteries by henry the 8th were being purchased by nobles to rub their booties still paper was rare enough in the 18th century that it was not the most common tool for the job in colonial america despite the availability of printed materials corn cobs were most commonly used for bathroom duty it wasn't until the end of the 18th century the first patent was in france in 1799 that paper making machines using continuous rollers were invented a new process was far cheaper and faster and printing and paper products proliferated by the early part of the 19th century people in europe and america were most commonly using scrap paper in their bathrooms using a bit of newspaper or catalog makes sense the paper was essentially free and offered reading material for that private time as well the hole that is traditionally drilled in the corner of the old farmer's almanac was reportedly to allow the book to be hung by a hook in the outhouse joseph guillette is generally credited with producing the first commercially marketed toilet paper in 1857 guillette's paper was called therapeutic paper and was sold in single sheets at the cost of a thousand sheets for a dollar his paper was claimed to have medical benefits especially as treatment for hemorrhoids ads at the time suggested that ink papers were toxic when used on sensitive parts oddly guillette's papers were each watermarked jc guillette new york guillette's product was one of the few sold at the time and continued to be sold into the 20th century but the product had limited success it was a prudish age and americans were embarrassed to buy a product meant for their behinds and many could not afford to or see the value in paying for paper when so much of it for example the sears and robot catalog was free developments such as patenting processes to sell paper on a roll with perforated sheets still struggled commercially because in victorian times the use of the paper was well unmentionable but another new technology was about to change that in 1829 the tremont house hotel in boston became the first hotel in america to use indoor plumbing as cities developed municipal water systems solely technology for the water closet improved early in the 19th century american manufacturers behind those of britain and most equipment for water closets was imported but by the end of the century american manufacturers were producing better products and more and more upscale homes featured indoor water closets new yorkers clarence and edward scott founded scott paper in 1879 in philadelphia they didn't make paper nor did they sell directly to consumers instead they bought paper in bulk and marketed rolls of perforated toilet paper through third parties such as hotels and drugstores that avoided the sensitivity of the subject the paper became seen as a special amenity of fancy hotels that featured indoor water closets there's a healthy and hygienic product sold at drugstores their marketing system worked and they eventually packaged their paper for more than 2 000 brands but as more and more homes were being equipped with indoor bathrooms newspapers and catalogs seemed less appropriate and would clog the pipes at the same time people wanted to buy brands that they'd seen at upscale hotels in 1902 the scott company purchased the trademark to their most popular third-party seller aldorf bathroom tissue and began marketing it to consumers directly under the scott brand for the first time the company started manufacturing its own paper again the product was successful although still marketed as a health product whose packaging did not mention the product's unmentionable function the company quickly became the world's largest manufacturer of the product as indoor plumbing became more common in the united states and europe the product slowly became indispensable but there were developments in both marketing and manufacturing in 1928 the brand charmin a play on the word charming began packaging the product using feminine looking designs appealing to homemakers and creating an image of softness and femininity the shift once again helped to remove stigma from marketing it as late as 1935 the quilted northern brand advertised that their paper was splinter free which may have been more of a marketing strategy than a different paper process but emphasized that the product was about comfort as well as hygiene later things like multi-ply tissue and scented brands broaden and differentiated the market further still it took a long time for the unmentionable to become mentionable it wasn't until the 1970s that television networks in the u.s allowed advertising under the name toilet paper rather than the less descriptive name bathroom tissue today toilet paper is big business more than seven billion rolls are sold in the united states annually although for some 70 of the world toilet paper is still not the primary way that they deal with their bathroom business it's become such a part of culture in america that a character in a charmin ad campaign called mr whipple a store manager extorted customers to please don't squeeze the charmin ran for nearly 60 years a 1978 tv guide survey found that mr whipple was the third most recognized man in america behind former president richard nixon and evangelist billy graham and if that's true it means that in 1978 mr whipple was more widely recognized in america than then president jimmy carter i can't explain why people are panicked buying toilet paper today i'll leave current events up to other people but it does seem ironic that we're rushing out to buy toilet paper when just a hundred years ago americans couldn't even figure out why they needed the product when there was so much free paper available but one of the most common solutions is no longer available to us according to the sears archive due to changes in retailing trends sears stopped producing its general catalog in 1993 and you've been listening to the history guy and you can find all of his work on youtube just put in the history guy and you'll find his youtube channel and a special thanks to him for allowing us to to share his storytelling with us and we love telling stories about history but again these innovations well they make life better for us and free enterprise does it and and inventors do it and who would have known that such a story well would be so interesting and again go to the history guy at his youtube channel and thanks to greg hangler for as always bringing some of the best history guys storytelling the story of toilet paper here on our american stories
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-16 21:27:15 / 2023-02-16 21:43:01 / 16

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