Anything that helps you to solve a problem is called technology. The wheel is a technology. Scissor is a technology, even paper is a technology. How? Humans have been writing even before paper was invented. In stones, clay tablets, palm leaves, walls, silk clothes, etc. Writing in these materials was difficult, time-consuming, and costly so they wanted a material that overcomes the above difficulties which led to the invention called paper. So who invented paper and when? Besides these before the invention of paper, people used papyrus to write. Do you know who invented papyrus paper? Continue reading the article to know about all of these.
1. Who invented Papyrus paper?
- Dating back to 2900 A.D, the excavators at the tomb of Saqqara found the earliest known papyrus. The first use of material made of content from the plant papyrus belongs to the Ancient Egyptians. Even after the discovery of paper in China, people from Egypt and Arabic countries used papyrus to write.
- The word papyrus refers to both the plant from which the writing material is made and the writing support invented by the Egyptians.
- In Ancient Egypt, they wrote texts on papyrus in the form of hieroglyphs, hieratic script, and demotic script. Later, papyrus was used by Arabs, Greeks, Aramaic, Latin, and Coptic.
- The papyrus was produced and used essentially the same way with slight variations throughout its 4000-year history. Besides using a writing material, papyrus was also used to make ropes, sandals, basketry, and other products. The next segment will give you an idea of who invented paper and when. (See Who Invented Super Glue?)
2. Who first invented Paper?
Before the invention of paper, people communicated through symbols and pictures. Then they started writing by carving on tree bark, painting on walls, stones, etc. Chinese people took communication to the next level by recording information like their drawings and writings on cloth sheets. But silk clothes were costly and only the privileged people could use them to write. So who invented paper and when to make writing accessible to everyone but not just wealthy ones? Other than clothes in China, people used bamboo stems and long ones to write. They tied up all the stems to form books. The process and the result of this were not satisfying. The writing period was time-consuming and they couldn’t carry the bamboo books easily as it was too heavy.
Using bamboo stems became a problem. In 105 CE, there was a Chinese court official named Cai Lun. He often used bamboo stems for writing and reading. He found it inconvenient to use the bamboo stems for the above works. To rectify this problem, Cai Lun came up with a solution. He mixed tree bark, fishnet, and cloth to form a new material. The material he found was lighter and easy to write. The material was later named paper. With the help of his apprentice Zuo Bo, Cai Lun improved the process of papermaking and soon the entire world started using paper as a writing material. (See When Were Numbers invented?)
3. When did the Paper usage spread to other Countries?
Let’s read about the history of how it spread across the whole world as you know the answer to who invented paper and when.
- Later in the 7th-century paper made its entrance to the Middle East and Central Asia. It took another 500 years to reach Europe.
- Although the entrance of paper in Europe is unclear, some say Europeans bought the paper from the Middle East through trade. Some say Marco Polo brought the paper to Europe from China.
- The process of papermaking spread to Asia slowly. Records reveal Koreans used paper in the 6th century and the Japanese used paper only for documentation and official records.
- The first record of paper use dates back to 751 A.D taught by the Chinese.
- Tibetan started making paper to replace the writing material of palm leaves.
- The first paper-making facility was started in Baghdad in 751 A.D.
The pulp used to make paper was prepared from the fiber of hemp, rattan, mulberry, bamboo, seaweed, and rice straw. (See When was silly putty invented?)
4. Who invented Paper Bag Machine?
The primary method of holding and transporting goods was done by materials made of jute canvas etc. The production of these was time-consuming, expensive, and difficult. You already know who invented paper and when and after that the first mass-produced paper bag machine was invented by Francis Wolle in 1852. The paper bag first invented looked more like an enveloping cover than the model we see today.
Later, Margaret Knight, a working in Columbia Paper Bag Company thought of a more practical and efficient model of square bottomed bags. (See Important inventions of Industrial Revolutions)
5. What are some of the Interesting Facts about the Paper?
Now that you know who invented paper and when you can skim over the interesting facts about the paper you use daily.
- The English word paper was derived from the Egyptian word papyrus.
- The first Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg was done on a parchment made of sheepskin. The First Bible was made with the skin of 300 sheep. (See What are the Best Alternatives for Parchment Paper?)
- A pine tree can produce 80,500 sheets of paper.
- Paper can be recycled up to 11 times to make different types of cardboard.
- Origami, the art of folding paper which was invented in Japan in the 6th century was reserved only for ceremonial purposes.
- The Chinese were also the first people to use paper currency and toilet paper.
- Chinese kept the process of making the paper a secret till the 6th century when Dan Jing, a Buddhist monk brought the technique to Japan. Japanese learned the tactic quickly and started making paper from the pulp of mulberry.
- Massachusetts is called The Paper City.
- The First monthly newspaper Notizie Scritte was printed in 1556 in Venice.
- U.S paper currency is not made of paper but with 75% cotton and 25% linen. (See Why Is the Illuminati on the Dollar Bill?)
So, today in this article you learned about who invented paper and when. You learned about the spread of paper in other countries and also some interesting facts about paper. (See What is the Standard Door Size?)