Q.1065: What were people using before the invention of paper?


Writing: Tree leaves, Cloth, Animal Hides, Stone, Metal etc.

Image of writing on palm leaf        Image of writing on piece of cloth      Image of writing on animal skin   Image of writing on stone  Image of writing on metal

        Palm Leaf Writing                                                    Cloth Writing                                       Animal Hide Writing                                       Stone Writing                                  Metal Writing  

UNESCO article on Typology and History  describes the items used for writing before the paper, development in papermaking and issues with printing on paper.

Printing: Printing invented much after paper was invented.

Packaging: Wooden boxes, Cloth for wrapping etc.

Toilet Tissue: (from http://encyclopedia.toiletpaperworld.com/toilet-paper-history/history-of-toilet-paper )

Prior to toilet paper, these civilizations/classes commonly opted for the following:
- Wealthy Romans -Wool, rosewater
- Public Restrooms in Ancient Rome- A sponge soaked in salt water, on the end of a stick
- Wealthy French – lace, wool and hemp; bidet
- Middle Ages – hayballs, a scraper/gompf stick kept in a container in the privy
- Early Americans – rags, newsprint, paper from catalogs, corncobs, and leaves
- Viking Age/England- discarded sheep and lambs wool
- Hawaiians – coconut shells
- Eskimos – snow and Tundra moss
- India – your left hand and water
- Commoners – Defecating in the river is very common
- Sailors from Spain/Portugal – frayed end of an old anchor line
- Medieval Europe- Straw, hay, grass, gompf stick
- United States – Corn cobs, Sears Roebuck catalog, mussel shell, newspaper, l eaves, sand
- British Lords – pages from a book
- Elite citizens – Hemp & wool

Table Napkins: Cloth Napkins, Water etc.

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