Back to all articles

The History of Paper Towels

Today paper towels are most commonly used to clean up household spills, but did you know that they were originally designed to help prevent the spread of germs? The cloth towels used in early 20th century restrooms contributed to the spread of germs, so in 1907 the Scott Paper Company created the first paper towels in the hopes of providing a more sanitary option. However, more research and development was needed before the product could be mass produced. William E. Corbin, Henry Chase, and Harold Titus eventually released Nibroc Paper Towels country-wide in 1922. In 1931, the Scott Paper Company released their own design, a paper towel roll that could be used in kitchens in addition to bathrooms. The product quickly became an American staple that is still used today. While paper towels continue to be popular, their impact on the environment is not insignificant.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.