toilet roll

Toilet roll holder

A toilet roll holder, also known as a toilet paper dispenser, is an item that holds a roll of toilet paper. There are at least five types of holders:

  1. A horizontal piece of wire mounted on a hinge, hanging from a door or wall.
  2. A horizontal axle recessed in the wall.
  3. A vertical axle recessed in the wall
  4. A horizontal axle mounted on a freestanding frame.
  5. A freestanding vertical pole on a base.

Wire on hinge

In the first case, the idea is that the toilet roll maintains contact with the door or wall as the roll's radius decreases. This provides enough friction to allow the user to tear off a piece of tissue. More sophisticated designs include a curved horizontal plate that covers the roll, thus removing the necessity of touching the roll.

Vertical pole

Originally intended to hold a stock of replacement rolls, the vertical pole has become the only paper holder in some households. It is particularly useful in homes where the family has mixed handedness.

Public toilets

The holders in many public toilets are designed to make it difficult to steal the toilet rolls. Various contraptions have been devised to lock the spare rolls away, and release them only when the active roll is used up.

An increasing number of public toilets are furnished with holders that hold very large rolls of toilet paper. These are designed to save money by reducing the frequency of janitorial services to restock the paper.

In many toilets, especially in elementary schools, a dispenser releases only a small square of toilet paper to prevent a user from intentionally clogging the toilet.

Toilet paper security

Many private and public toilets are provided with toilet roll holders, each of which can hold up to two complete rolls of toilet paper at one time. This arrangement is most effective if paper is always used from the roll with less paper on it. Then, there is an allowance of one complete roll before a completely used roll is replaced. (In effect, the inventory of toilet paper at the toilet has a minimum of one roll and a maximum of two rolls.) However, if both rolls are finished at the same time, there is a risk of being without toilet paper before the next replacement.

Music Box Toilet Paper Dispenser

In addition to the various styles of toilet paper dispensers, there have also been technological advances in this common household dispenser. One notable invention is the “improved toilet paper dispenser of the type, in which a roll of toilet paper is supported on a rotatable spindle secured at each end thereof by a bracket, wherein the improvement comprises: a. means for playing music operatively connected to the spindle, whereby, music is activated by rotation of the spindle” (McCall, 1999). Known under the United States Patent No. 6000658, this toilet paper dispenser calls for “a music box, being a tape player, a compact disc player, a computer chip properly programmed with music, or the like, operatively connected to the spindle and activated by rotation of the spindle” with a timer “to deactivate the music box after a period of time has elapsed” (McCall, 1999).

The iPod-Friendly Toilet Paper Dispenser

A company called Atech Flash Technology has recently released a product known as the iCarta, which is a stereo dock for the iPod that is designed to let users listen to music while in the bathroom and that features a bath tissue (toilet paper) holder. The company claims that the four integrated moisture-free speakers deliver high quality and high performance sound. The device fits all iPod sizes, and the integrated bath tissue holder can be folded in as a stereo dock for users who do not wish to use the devise as a toilet paper dispenser.

Electronic Sensor Toilet Paper Dispenser

In July 2007 the Kimberly-Clark Professional company unveiled is development of an electronic toilet paper dispenser designed for the away-from-home toilet paper market in the United States. The company has designed an automatic electronic toilet paper dispenser similar to the fashion of the automatic soap dispensers, paper towel machines, faucets and toilets that currently dominate public restrooms.

After conducting research via focus groups and internal research, Kimberly-Clark has designed a system to provide 20 inches (or precisely five standard toilet paper squares) with each trigger of the motion sensor. Users can activate one of the two motion sensors to trigger the device’s battery-powered motor to automatically dispense the predetermined amount of toilet paper. The machine also comes with security features in case the automated dispenser malfunctions.

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