Over Or Under? This 124-Year-Old Patent Settles The Debate Once And For All

After being the cause of one too many violent roommate altercations and ruined marriages, it has recently been discovered that the answer to arguably the most important and pressing age-old question had already been answered more than a century ago.

The original 1891 patent by New York businessman Seth Wheeler illustrates that the tail end of a roll of toilet paper should be on the top of the roll.

Finally! Proof for the “over” position (no, we’re not secretly pleased at all).

Writer Owen Williams enlightened the world with his discovery last Monday on Twitter. He even posted a picture of Wheeler’s patent for the toilet paper roll:

Wheeler and his company, Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company, originally patented the idea for perforated “wrapping” paper, which we less-cultured plebians now call “tissue” paper. Because of Wheeler, we are now able to tear off perfect squares of paper to wipe — er, to do with as we wish. Thanks, Wheeler.

“My invention … consists in a roll of wrapping paper with perforations on the line of the division between one sheet and the next, so as to be easily torn apart, such roll of wrapping paper forming a new article of manufacture,” Wheeler’s 1871 patent read.

Apologies to you advocates of the “under” position, but you just can’t argue with incontrovertible evidence.