These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

Today's trivia is about things important in our lives, things we can't really do without.

Most historians believe monks or craftsmen in Pisa (or perhaps Venice), Italy produced the first form of eyeglasses around 1285-1289. The magnifying lenses for reading were set into bone, metal, or leather mountings, shaped like two small magnifying glasses with the handles riveted together to form an inverted "V" shape that could be balanced on the bridge of the nose.

The first specific mention of eyeglasses is in a 1289 Italian manuscript written by a member of the di Popozo family. The author wrote, "I am so debilitated by age that without the glasses known as spectacles, I would no longer be able to read or write."

The first know artistic representation of the use of eyeglasses were paintings by two Italian artists in 1352. Tommaso da Modena painted a series of frescoes depicting monks reading and writing manuscripts. One monk holds a magnifying glass, but another wears spectacles perched on his nose.

Pope Leo X (1475-1521), who was very nearsighted, reportedly wore eyeglasses with concave lenses for hunting and claimed they enabled him to see better than his companions.

It was in the 1600s that Spanish craftsmen created the first eyeglass frame temples. They attached ribbons of silk or strings to the frame and looped them over the wearer's ears. Spanish and Italian missionaries brought the new types of eyeglasses to China, and the Chinese attached small metal weights to the strings instead of making loops.

In 1800, the monocle (first called an eye ring) is introduced in England. Monocles remained popular in Europe among men in society's upper class throughout the 1800s.

Toothpaste is not a relatively modern phenomena. In fact, as long ago as 3000-5000 BC Egyptians made a dental cream by mixing powdered ashes of oxen hooves with myrrh, burned egg shells, pumice, and water.

In 1000 AD Persians added burnt shells of snails and oysters along with gypsum. However, toothpaste was still only afforded by the rich. In 18th century England a tooth cleaning "powder" containing borax was sold in ceramic pots, but the problem with this was that it was very abrasive.

Prior to WWII, toothpaste was packaged in small lead/tin alloy tubes. The inside of the tube was coated with wax, however, it was discovered that lead from the tubes leached into the product. It was the shortage of lead and tin during WWII that led to the use of laminated (aluminum, paper, and plastic combination) tubes. At the end of the twentieth century pure plastic tubes were used.

The breakthrough that transformed toothpaste into the crucial weapon against tooth decay was the finding that fluoride could dramatically reduce cavities. Dr. William Engler tested 400 preschool children and discovered a dramatic reduction in dental cavities among children treated with fluoride. This study, along with many others done around the world, led to the widespread introduction of fluoride in the 1950s.

Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel making your teeth more resistant to acids produced by plaque bacteria, as well as acids found in fruit juices, soda (both regular and diet) and certain foods.

Abrasives give toothpaste its cleaning power. They remove stains and plaque, as well as polish teeth. Common abrasives include calcium phosphates, alumina, calcium carbonate, and silica. Toothpaste should be abrasive enough to remove plaque and stains, but not abrasive enough to damage tooth enamel.

In 1391 AD in China, the Bureau of Imperial Supplies produced 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year for use by the emperors. Each sheet measured two feet by three feet.

Colonial Americans used corncobs and leaves to cleanse with before toilet tissue came along. When newspapers became available they were also used.

New Yorker Joseph C. Gayetty produced the first packaged bathroom tissue in the United States in 1857. The Gayetty Firm from New Jersey produced the first toilet paper named “The Therapeutic Paper”. The company sold it in packs of 500 sheets for fifty cents, and Joseph Gayetty had his name printed on each sheet!

The Scott Paper Company was the first company to manufacture tissue on a roll, specifically for the use of toilet paper. Scott purchased large “jumbo” rolls of paper from various paper mills and converted them into packages of small rolls and stacked sheets.

Twenty-six billion rolls of toilet paper, worth about $2.4 billion, are sold yearly in America alone. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita a year.

As of 2009, between 25% and 50% of the toilet paper used in the United States comes from tree farms in the U.S. and South America, with most of the rest coming from second growth forests, and only a small percentage coming from virgin forests.
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"I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes."

Andy Rooney (1919-), American radio and television writer, most famous as a humorist and political commentator.
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  1. Surprise! Thought i'd pop in on you. We haven't communicated much on F@cebook lately but you've been in my thoughts. Hope all is well with you sweet friend and I love the minutae info you share! Interesting!

  2. Love my glasses love my contacts even more. Toothpaste and toilet paper are also good. Great trivia

  3. scott toilet tissue is so worth the extra money! their stacked sheets are awesome.

  4. Patti, all is well here! It's funny that there are some things I write about here, but not on FB because of who reads there. and other things are vice versa! I guess you have to read both to keep up with me! glad you stopped by.

    Thanks, Bobbie!

    (M)ary, I've never used Scott TP. maybe I feel strange about it since my son's name is Scott??

  5. Hi, just visiting from (M)ary's place. When I have a spare moment I like to see what other people are blogging about and today I stumbled upon you.
    An interesting post, for myself life wouldn't be the same without the invention of the teddy bear - I know I'm 41 but life wouldn't be the same without my bear.

  6. Wasn't there a big hubbub over the introduction of fluoride in the drinking water? Seems like I remember that when I was a kid.

    My mother remembers using pages from the Sears Robuck catelog for toilet paper back in the days of the Depression. You had to crinkle the pages over and over to get just the right texture (softness).

  7. Dave, yes, I remember that. It was very controversial.

    and the Sears Catalog .... I missed out on that! I was a small child when we still had an outhouse, but we had TP. I remember my older sibs talking about it, though. Do you suppose the term "working it" came from the action necessary on the pages???


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!