The other day I got to thinking about facial tissues, commonly called Kleenex which is a registered trademark of the Kimberly-Clark Company and, as a result, should always be capitalized. I realized that they are rectangular, not square. I got to wondering why that is so. Aren’t they a replacement for fabric handkerchiefs which are square?
I went to the Kimberly-Clark website where I learned they were originally advertised for use in removing make-up, especially stage make-up. Only after customers starting telling the company how much they liked them for blowing their noses did Kimberly-Clark start to advertise them for such a use. But I couldn’t find anything that told me who came up with the product or how the size was determined.
I’ve noticed that the small purse packets labeled “paper handkerchiefs” which you most often see in the dollar stores are usually square, unlike the purse packets of facial tissues made by the big paper companies like Kimberly-Clark. I don’t know why this difference exists.
All this thinking about facial tissues got me to thinking about other paper products. Why are the squares of toilet tissue the size they are? Haven’t found the answer to that but I did learn that the Scott Paper Company was the first to put toilet tissue on a roll.
Why are paper towels the size they are? Why are the more recent products like the Swiffner sheets the size they are? Why are some products sold on rolls and others folded into a box?