Everyday Items With Totally Messed Up Histories:  Kleenex

Origin: A gas mask filter 

Before using them to blow your nose and clean up after yourself, these iconic facial tissues were originally developed to function as disposable gas mask filters during World War I. According to Kimberly-Clark’s own account of the history, the material used in Kleenex—a malleable and thin cellu-cotton—was found a remarkable effective cotton substitute for dressing both wounds and filtering air coming into gas masks.

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