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Beating a Paper Folding Record with Toilet Paper

Apr 14, 2011

A Unique Use for Jumbo Toilet Paper

Most jumbo toilet paper rolls are used in commercial bathrooms or high traffic restrooms. But Dr. James Tanton had another use for these jumbo rolls of paper.

Dr. Tanton professes to prefer the small individually wrapped toilet tissue rolls for household use. But he was using the jumbo toilet paper rolls with his students at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts to try to beat a paper folding record set by Britney Gallivan in 2002. For the past 7 years, Dr. James Tanton had tried to beat Britney’s record of folding a sheet of paper in half 12 times.


Dr. James Tanton found by googling toilet paper supplies. Of all the online toilet paper suppliers he thought that the site name was dynamic. “Who can resist Toilet Paper World?”

Dr. Tanton described the site as easily navigable, and found the jumbo rolls of toilet paper easily. The biggest roll of toilet paper on is 4,000 feet long, although he would welcome a longer roll if it was manufactured.

Beating the Record

By taping together rolls of toilet paper, Dr. Tanton and the students finally achieved a 13,000 ft long sheet of toilet paper. On April 3, 2011 in the Infinite Corridor at MIT, they managed to fold the toilet paper that was more than 2 miles long. They created 13 unidirectional folds, beating Britney’s record. The only problem was that the folded paper would not stay folded by itself.

Why the Infinite Corridor?

The Infinite Corridor was the longest indoor space that the toilet paper would not be affected by outside forces. Wind especially was a major obstacle for working with such a light and floaty material. Even the indoor air conditioning had enough force to cause the toilet paper to move.

For the Record

Dr. Tanton says that next year they hope to have the actual freestanding entity, using 24,000 ft of paper, creating a stable 13 folds.

Though the Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t have a paper folding category yet, they just may after this! Next year, will donate the toilet paper supplies for the challenge. Good luck to Dr. James Tanton and the students at St. Mark’s!

Read about it in the Boston Globe


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21 Responses to “Beating a Paper Folding Record with Toilet Paper”

  1. Karate Los Angeles - April 15th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    No way!! 4,000 feet was from ONE toilet paper roll? So should we start using the industrial toilet roll in our homes?

  2. кроссовки adidas stan smith - April 18th, 2011 at 6:18 am

    AWESOME!WE need this in our homes!!!

  3. Auto Title Loans - April 18th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Talk about an industrial-sized roll. I’m sure one roll of that would last a long time! Where did anyone get the idea to even try and master this?

  4. Rug Cleaning Santa Monica - April 28th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Wait, so that BIG pillow looking cushion in the last picture used the be the toilet paper roll that you see in a typical public restroom? 24000 feet is a looooooot of toilet paper.

  5. Molly - April 29th, 2011 at 5:19 am

    It’s actually a few rolls that have been taped together. The rolls were 4000 ft long!

  6. plumbing - May 8th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    That is a relief! I’ve been thinking they be using it for 100 toilets LOL.

  7. Toyota Lease Return Southern California - May 19th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Wow! I agree with Karate Los Angeles! I might start using this for my house since I feel like I’m always out of toilet paper!

  8. Car Lease Return Southern California - May 25th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I’m sure this took a really long time to do. At first glance, I thought this seemed wasteful and tedious work. However, I could see the fun in doing it with a lot of people and trying to beat a record!

  9. Root Canal West Hollywood - June 1st, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    This is too funny! I bet that took a lot of time and a lot of patients! Nice work and great pictures!

  10. Al@ Jiu Jitsu Los Angeles - June 3rd, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Did you get a chance to weigh that pile? I’d love to know how much a folded jumbo roll weighs.

  11. Title Loans - June 24th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    That could be a blanket! Talk about toilet paper in bulk! So what were the results?

  12. exercycles - June 30th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I love this blog! It’s my favorite! LOL

  13. Discount Furniture Glendale - November 4th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I think it’s kind of an honor that he bought the toilet paper on your website. And I love that you’re donating toilet paper for next year, I hope you get a lot of publicity for it and it helps your site.

  14. Therapist New York - November 11th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Interesting stuff, that’s be great if they could get into the Guinness book for that. Don’t see why not. For all of that work they deserve something!

  15. Los Angeles SEO - November 16th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    WOW! That is phenomenal.

  16. Discount Furniture Santa Monica - November 16th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I thought you were only able to fold paper about 7 times.

  17. Molly - November 17th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I know, crazy right??

  18. St. Mark's School Beats World Record of Toilet Paper Folding - December 7th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    […] 7, 2011 Last April, we posted about a group at St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts folding toilet paper 13 times. This past weekend, under Dr. James Tanton’s direction, the St. Mark’s students beat […]

  19. Jared - January 9th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    as much tp gets used in some toilets, i can tell everyone uses a 4,000ft roll! lol if your youngster does happen to flush a rool, or toy down the toilet, give us a call!

  20. Molly - January 18th, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Thanks Jared! Have you had to deal with an entire roll down a toilet before?? We would love to post your plumber stories on our blog.

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