The paper towel was created by a crafty teacher in Philadelphia who found a way to keep her students from perpetuating a cold epidemic. Instead of sharing the same cloth towel, she put her scissors to use and cut some paper into individual squares. The Scott Paper Company, which was already making toilet paper, got wind of the story. As luck would have it, the company had an entire railroad car full of paper that was rolled too thick to be used in the bathroom. Arthur Scott came up with a way to copy the teacher's design on a bigger scale. It didn't take long before he was selling them as a product called the Sani-Towel.