Weather Forecast


Duluth girl's invention solves the great TP debate

Congdon Park Elementary school 5th grader Nora Peterson decided to solve the family feuding over which direction the toilet paper should roll by inventing the Over-Under Toilet Paper Wonder. The roll is mounted on a wooden disk that can be spun so users can have their choice. [Bob King]

A Duluth fifth-grader has met the challenge of an age-old domestic dilemma.

The problem: How to live with someone who puts the roll of toilet paper in with the tail over the top when you know it's supposed to go down the back.

The solution: Nora Peterson's "Over-Under Toilet Paper Wonder," a gizmo that can do either with a quick flick of the wrist.

Peterson, of Congdon Park Elementary School, introduced her invention Friday at the regional Minnesota Student Inventors Congress at Miller Hill Mall.

"People can get angry at each other if they are picky about their toilet paper direction. I mean really picky," Peterson wrote on the display accompanying her invention.

The Over-Under T.P. Wonder is a simple, rotating disk with a toilet paper holder mounted to it. Like it over but found it under? Just twist.

"This would save many a marriage," Peterson's teacher, Kathy Lofstuen, said.

Peterson first saw the idea in a "Close to Home" comic strip a year ago and spent five hours in December designing the prototype with her father, Joe Peterson. They tried different bolt and washer combinations until one worked.

"When ideas fly through the air, you gotta grab it, and that is what I did," said the 10-year-old, who now is researching ways to improve fuel efficiency in vehicles for a possible upcoming invention.