The ongoing debate over toilet paper orientation seems to have been answered more than a century ago.
According to an 1891 patent by New York businessman Seth Wheeler, the end of a toilet paper roll should be on the front, or in the “over” position. Advocates of the “off-the-back” position, please take note and flip that roll over when you get home. The science has been settled, the guy who invented the stuff says so.
Mr. Wheeler, the man behind the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company, is also the reason we’re able to tear off perfect squares in the first place: Albany Perforated originally patented the idea for perforated “wrapping” paper (a more modest name for toilet paper) in 1871.
“My invention … consists in a roll of wrapping paper with perforations on the line of the division between one sheet and the next, so as to be easily torn apart, such roll of wrapping paper forming a new article of manufacture,” Wheeler’s 1871 parent read.