And now for a little ad awkwardness from the fifties: 20 glamorous housewives who REALLY loved their toilet paper

20 housewives who REALLY loved their toilet paper
Apparently out of ideas for making one brand of toilet paper — Scott’s Soft-Weve toilet tissue — more attractive to female shoppers, advertising executives turned to the world of glamour and fashion for an assist.

Much like the Modess ad campaigns that were out around the same time, the makers of these paper goods went all out hiring stylish models and top clothing designers to give their products some cachet.

The toilet paper ads were a little different, though, in that they actually showed the product in question. They often accomplished this by having the model “housewife” — standing in a room featuring a gauzy pastel backdrop — holding a roll of colored toilet paper with the kind of reverence and adoration typically reserved for sentient beings (or, at least, for expensive jewelry).

But despite their best intentions, we felt like there was something missing from each of these photos. If the fine folks at the Scott company wanted people to really buy into the idea that these women had something special going on with their TP, there needed to be a little context. A little relatability. A little personality. So that’s just what we added.

The toilet tissue of the gods

The centerpiece of Drusilla’s curved, velvet-clad powder room was a padded altar, upon which the pale emerald tissue would rest in between offerings to the porcelain god.

Green dress with ostrich feathers and a toilet roll from 1959


A little quality time

Deborah was actually happy when she sat down and realized the toilet paper roll was empty, for that meant she could go ahead and hold a fresh new roll for a few tender moments.

Vintage 50s women who love toilet paper (5)


Like a fairytale

“Who needs a man,” thought Matilda, “when I already hold perfection in my hands?”

Soft-Weve toilet paper 1959


It’s just some black electrical tape, why?

Diana honors the roll of tissue that inspired — and helped create — her evening gown.

Vintage 50s women who love toilet paper (4)

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When it’s good to be blue

Twin sisters Jane and Janet loved to dress to match the delicately-colored rolls of tissue. They considered it a special privilege, after having grown up in a household where your outfit only matched your toilet paper if you were wearing newsprint.

1958 Vintage women who love toilet paper

Left: “Heavenly blue softness and luxury — in this lovely negligee of French silk chiffon. Designed by Count Sarmi to match the soft luxury of Soft-Weve…”

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It’s more than just toilet paper. It’s an experience.

Before Betty replaces the roll, she always takes a moment to rub the double-ply tissue against her cheek. Then she separates the layers, and checks for hidden messages from the factory elves.

Pink bathroom tissue from 1956

“Pretty up your bath with this softer kind of color tissue”

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Even more handy than a lucky clover

Rushing into Betty’s bathroom one afternoon, Molly surprised her friend in the midst of her special tissue ritual. After some initial confusion, Molly decided to try it for herself.

And that is how the O’Sullivan household came to have their very own “loo roll ceremony” twice a week. (Well, three times a week when Uncle Seamus was visiting.)

Retro women with toilet tissue 1956

“Just the thing for smart young homemakers. – New! Color Soft-Weve — for mix-or-match color schemes. Gentle as facial tissue. Two soft thicknesses.”

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A shared roll means love

Penny and her husband found a way to keep the toilet roll in the area between the his-and-her bathrooms. When nature called, they would simply run the paper across the room to the commode in use. That way, they both would have the opportunity to appreciate its golden beauty throughout the day.

Golden Soft-Weve toilet paper from 1959

“Sheer luxury… sheer glamour… a golden Sari coat drifts over a silver-lined sheath with softly feminine trousers. Designed by Tina Leser to match luxurious Soft-Weve, the bathroom tissue that has everything.”


Finally it was her turn

As a new bride, Lucy was, at long last, allowed to place the hallowed roll onto the magical offering spindle.

Toilet paper was special in 1956


Toilet paper makes everything better

In a hurry to get to the facilities, Edith she started to run… and caught her heel on the curtains, which then wrapped around her dress.

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On the verge of tears, she burst into the bathroom, wrenched the toilet paper roll from the wall, and brought it close to her face so she could breathe in the soothing two-ply goodness.

1958 Crazy toilet paper lady dress fashion beauty


Anything is possible

Virginia was quite sure that, given enough time and encouragement, she could train the toilet roll to follow her to the commode, so it would always be there in her time of need.

Directoire negligee with golden roses designed by Ferreras

“Luxurious Directoire negligee — its tiny bodice flowing into a court train strewn with roses. Specially designed by Ferreras to match…”


It’s soft yet firm

Miriam holds her toilet tissue close, and thinks back fondly to the long hours they spent together during “the taco incident.”

Vintage 50s women who love toilet paper (2)

“It’s soft as a cloud… yet firm and practical: To make a toilet tissue as soft as cleansing tissue is one thing. To make it strong and practical as well is more difficult. But cleansing tissue softness with strength is what you’ll find in Soft-Weve.”


A study in pink

Peggy approached the pink toilet paper roll slowly, stopping several times to admire its rosy elegance before turning to slide the roll of toilet paper onto its gilded holder.

Jan 14, 1957 toilet paper


A vision in yellow

There was no newspaper on the bottom of the cage for Carol’s canary. Only the finest toilet tissue would do for Squeaky.

1958 toilet paper in yellow


A dawn welcome

Every morning, Louise meditated for an hour, then greeted the sun with a fresh offering of plushy tushy paper.

1959 Soft-Weve toilet paper - Kimono woman in pink

“Elegant silk Empress Kimono in soft pink crepe de chine lined with brocade for double luxury. Designed by Count Sarmi…”


Sandra’s special “me time”

At first, she told the people who knocked on the door to “use the bathroom down the hall.” When they finally figured out there was no bathroom down the hall, Sandra began to simply ignore the pleas that came with ever-increasing urgency.

She could clean the carpets later — but this precious time with a fresh roll of tissue? The moment was hers, and hers alone.

Vintage 50s women who love toilet paper (1)

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Pearl pink couture toilet roll

Midge adored her pink peau de soie Scaasi designer gown, which, as she told everyone, had been custom-made to match her favorite TP color.

Woman with pink toilet paper - 1950s

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It’s not me — it’s you

“It’s not an obsession!” Myrtle huffed as she slipped into her best bustled dress before running to the bathroom. As she slammed the door behind her, a loud but quivering voice could be heard across the house, “At least the toilet paper appreciates me!”

Vintage housewives with toilet tissue issues 1959


Toilet paper even a goddess could love

Little-known fact: In addition to Athena being the goddess of wisdom, courage, justice and more, she is also the goddess of bathroom tissue. Here, she pays homage to the sacrificial roll before it is placed alongside the toilet urn.

Woman in Grecian-style dress with a roll of toilet paper - 1959

“Shimmering Grecian negligee, a slim and silvery vision in softest lame chiffon. Specially designed by Yanni to match the special softness of Soft-Weve, the bathroom tissue that gives you everything!… A ‘see through’ wrap to show you the soft ‘negligee colors.'”

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With her faithful roll at her side

Her morning constitutional complete, Marjorie looked forward to a day filled with fun and frolics with her beloved tissue roll close at hand.

Oct 19, 1959 Toilet paper

“Precious ermine lavished on a royal robe of lush, pearly-pink satin. Designed by [Philip] Holitar specifically to match…”

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