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Following the Toilet Paper Trail

Bill Warner
March 05, 2020
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Hello, welcome to Bill’s History Corner. This is the place where I try to explain items/information we find about the factory that made the Napanee Dutch Kitchenet.  This week I going to attempt some bathroom humor. As we are going through the boxes of old factory receipts, we find some very interesting things. This receipt got my attention, and then I tried to think about how I could explain it. Well, here is where bathroom humor meets Coppes, Zook & Mutschler.

This receipt is from the L.H. GARDNER PAPER CO. successors to LAUREN H. GARDNER MANUF’R OF TOILET PAPER, from MUMFORD, N.Y.  This first receipt is dated Feb. 26, 1906. Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. ordered three cases of CULL toilet paper, which weighted in at 520 pounds (the railroad thought it was 550 pounds). After a 2% discount for prompt payment, the cost of the 3 cases was $22.90. Wonder what the difference between CULL toilet paper and the best grade is?

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We also have the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. freight ticket for this order. A notation on the freight receipt is written as “1 Bx Broken open contents apparently ok”.  Looks like the C, Z & M Co. gave a .15 cents tip to the railroad Co., possibly for repacking the toilet paper. My inquiring mind wants to know: how many rolls of TP were in these three cases? I would never do this, but have you seen houses around Nappanee that were TPed?

The second receipt is from the same company and dated Jan 31, 1907. This order is also for three cases of cull toilet paper. This order weighed 460 pounds and cost $20.70. So far, these two receipts are the only ones we have found, there are sure to be others. A penciled notation on this receipt indicates that 1 case was sent to building “B” and 2 cases sent to building “A” for use. Interesting, none were sent to the office. Maybe they brought their toilet paper from home. And that concludes the bathroom humor for today.

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