A Short Pencil is more Reliable than the Longest Memory

How Graphite Pencil and Paper were invented?. History Behind Pencil and Paper

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History of Pencil

The graphite pencil was invented in England in 1564 following the discovery of an extensive deposit of pure graphite at Seathwaite Fell near Borrowdale in Cumbria. The Borrowdale deposit was so pure it could be cut into sheets and subsequently into tiny square-profile lengths. The material left a darker mark than other less pure graphite composites, possessed a greasy texture, was extremely brittle, and quickly dirtied the hands of the user, thus requiring some form of the protective sheath. However, the fact that it could be erased made it a popular alternative to ink. The first known account of a graphite pencil was written in 1565 by the German scientist Konrad von Gesner. He described a rudimentary lead pencil

"enclosed in a wood holder," and it was not until the 1660s that a Keswick joiner hollowed out a piece of wood to create the forerunner of today's graphite-rod pencil. Graphite was known as blacklead or plumbago (Latin for "lead ore") until the new name was coined by the Swedish chemist K. W. Scheele as a footnote to his Treatise on Fossils (1779). The Seathwaite Fell deposit remains the purest deposit of graphite ever found. It was so valuable and easily extracted that in 1752 the British parliament passed a law making the theft of graphite punishable - by imprisonment. The first commercial production of pencils began in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1761.


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History of Paper

In 105 when Ts'ai Lun (50-121), a courtier in the Chinese Imperial court, invented paper, little did he realize that he was opening one of the most epoch-making chapters in history. He refined and popularized the process of mixing tree fibres and wheat stalks with the bark of a mulberry tree, then pounding them together and pouring the mixture onto a woven cloth to create a lightweight writing surface. His blended, fibrous sheets were an improvement over bamboo and wood, which were awkward and heavy, and silk, which was expensive. Successive Chinese dynasties conspired to keep his invention secret, and it was not until the start of the seventh century that papermaking techniques began to appear in Japan and Korea.

With the capture of Chinese paper merchants by Arab soldiers during the Battle of Talas in 751, the knowledge of papermaking soon spread across the Arab world, and first appeared in Europe in Moorish Spain early in the twelfth century. In Europe, the paper began a centuries-long battle for prominence with parchment until the invention of movable type in the fifteenth century led to a steep rise in literacy and demand for the production of books that parchment could no longer satisfy. The eighteenth-century saw paper made from linen and cotton rags that were replaced by wood and other vegetable pulps in the early nineteenth century.


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