Home History How Green Bay became ‘the toilet paper capital of the world’

How Green Bay became ‘the toilet paper capital of the world’

by Chris Butsch

In 1857, an American named Joseph Gayetty invented the first purpose-made toilet paper, but most Americans continued to use pages from the Sears Catalog or Farmer’s Almanac (the latter was even printed with a hole for hanging in an outhouse).

Not until 1901 did Northern Paper Mills of Green Bay develop soft, flushable and affordable Northern Tissue. Northern Paper Mills became the world’s largest producer of toilet paper, surviving the Depression and further perfecting the product. By the 1930s, it was entirely “splinter-free.”

A competitor also in Green Bay, Hoberg Paper Company, eventually changed its name to Charmin.

Chris Butsch, The 100 Companies

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