Laura’s mystery tile-in bathroom receptor holder thingy — what is it?

mystery bathroom holderWhat is this mystery tiled-in bathroom receptor? Laura is stumped, and so am I. Do we have any experts out there who know for sure? 

Laura writes:


I’ve lived in my 1920’s apartment 20 years and have periodically researched this thing in the wall, which I assume would be a toilet paper holder, but have not been able to find one similar online. 

I’d love to locate a piece that would work with it. Help appreciated! Laura

Wow, thanks! I can imagine the type of device that would go in but haven’t been able to locate anything. 

Laura followed up and clarified that inside, there’s about an allowance of about 1.5” on either side.

Inside a a 1920s apartment bathroom… the way it’s tile it, it looks original to me. What could this be?

  1. Michael says:

    I wrote earlier about the square TP in France. I did a quick check on Amazon.fr (French version of Amazon). This product is available and can be shipped to US…at a cost…of course! Do a search for “papier hygienique plat” and it will pop up. The pink Moltonel comes in reasonable quantity. The white is an industrial amount! Cost is about 25$–which will last….a LONG time…LOL…especially if no one uses it! You can have it shipped–the “prioritaire” price will automatically populate–which costs 100$, if you go ahead and select the continue to purchase option, the last screen allows you to change from prioritaire to “rapide” which is about 30$…

    I used the site all the time–same company as US Amazon. If you have a US Amazon account, you can log into the French site with your US username etc. Takes all credit cards, PayPal etc…

    Would make for a pretty expensive bunch of TP…but it would certainly start a lot of conversations!

    1. Laura says:

      I would totally get if the device were still in tact that pushes them forward as they go. And I miss pink toilet paper! So miss that- considering a French order of pink TP for kicks.

  2. Jackie D says:

    Yes, the wall slot was meant to hold “interfolded” toilet tissue-for dispensing one tissue at a time similar to a paper towel dispenser. It’s still sold here in the states under various names. Aspect and Georgia Pacific are two brands still sold today. You can find them on Amazon mostly sold by the case.

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I know also that in the 50s people smoked while in the toilet. This does not look like any of the built-in ashtrays I have seen, however. So I’m guessing folding TP is the answer. I ran across some in France in a dormitory in the 1960s, and it was very firm paper–sort of like butcher paper. We traveling students with tender tushes were warned to bring our own TP, so we brought it from the U.S.–took up half of one of my suitcases. 🙂

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