Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015 - (Page 6)
A Century of tissue
When TAPPI was formed in 1915, the global tissue industry was still in its infancy. Yes, the
Chinese were messing around with "tissue" 3,000 years earlier, but there would not be a tissue industry
until the early 20th century. In the U.S., Scott Paper Co., in fact, was the first to commercially produce
a tissue product and get it on store shelves in the early 1900s. Kimberly-Clark didn't put our first facial
tissue (Kleenex) on the market until 1924.
I've spoken with a few very senior citizens, including my dad, some time back, who said they did not recall
even seeing tissue paper, especially toilet or bath tissue, until maybe in the 1930s. For sure, whatever progress
there was along the commercial tissue front was interrupted by the Great Depression beginning in 1929.
There was some economic growth for four years after the Great Depression, which helped tissue and
other industries, including paper, get back on their feet a little. But then another recession in 1937 slowed
things down again, at least until the beginning of World War II when vibrant war industries stimulated
a different type of recovery, complete with frugal rationing of rubber, metals, glass, coffee, certain food
items, and even tissue to some degree.
After the war, economies throughout the western world grew rapidly, and in many respects this was the
beginning of the modern tissue industry, at least in North America. In an article beginning on page 8, we
look at a "Century of Tissue" beginning more or less at its halfway point-in the 1950s and 1960s-the
beginning of Mr. Whipple's 20-year "please don't squeeze the Charmin" run on TV.
Based on the insights and recollections of three tissue industry veterans who spent most if not all of
their careers in the tissue arena, the article explores a series of trend-setting events and developments that
more or less defines tissue making as we know it today. George Hartman, who started in the industry in
1964, spent his entire career in the industry until he retired in 2002. Bill Sleeper started in the packaging
sector of the industry in 1969, later switching over to the tissue side where he spent the final 15 or so years
of his career, retiring in 2012. Wlad Janssen was with Kruger most of his career until four years ago when
he became a consultant to the industry.
Janssen, who looks more globally at future directions the industry likely will take, says that tissue,
much more so than other grades of paper industry products, is driven directly by consumers and the
commercial marketplace. In this regard, he notes, the big tissue producers are not really paper companies
anymore, but rather consumer product companies. They have gotten away from the pulp production side
of the paper industry entirely.
Today's consumers, Janssen notes, buy tissue on a repeat basis-it's a basic need. Promotions for tissue
are therefore often at the head of isles in grocery stores and used as a means to direct the traffic. In many
countries (particularly after World War II behind the iron curtain), toilet tissue, if it could be obtained,
was of very bad quality. Therefore there was a pent-up demand, and consumers became very much aware
of the functionality of tissue (Eastern Europe is still one of the high growth areas for tissue today).
Editorial Director/Associate Publisher, Tissue360°
DESIGN Rajeev Mishra
KEN PATRICK, Editorial Director/Associate Publisher
PUBLISHER Pam Blasetti
LARRY N. MONTAGUE, President & CEO, TAPPI
ERIC FLETTY, VP Operations, TAPPI
GLENN OSTLE, Editorial Director/Associate
MONICA SHAW, Editorial Director, TAPPI Journal
MARKETING Lauren Branin
SAMANTHA GEIER, Online Exclusives Editor
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015
A Century of Tissue: Career Experts Explore Past, Future
Sheet Structure Process Effect on Tissue Properties
Rapid Growth Puts GapCon on Global Tissue Stage
New Tissue Technologies Showcase
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015