How the graphite lead pencil was invented

Long before the mechanical pencil: How the graphite lead pencil was invented

It must be assumed that the very first prototype of a pencil was the firebrand - ancient people painted their cave paintings using it long ago. Steel rods-wedges for writing on wet clay were used in ancient Assyria. The Greeks and Romans used sharpened sticks.Since XIII century, artists used to paint with a thin silver wire soldered to the handle or stored in a case. This type of pencil called "silver pencil." This tool would require a high level of skill, as they could not erase inscribed. Its other feature is that over time the gray strokes applied with silver pencil turned brown.There was also a "lead pencil" that left a discreet but clear track and is often used for preparatory sketches portraits.Known as the "Italian pencil" it appeared in the XIV century and consists of a core of black shale clay. It was made from the powder of burnt bones, held together by vegetable glue. This tool allowed you to create an intense and vivid line.

Graphite pencils are known from the XVI century. English shepherds from the area of ​​Cumberland has found a dark mass of the earth, which they have used to mark sheep. They have long noticed that the wool of their sheep is black, if they rub against the local rock. When this was reported to local scientists, they decided that in Cumberland on the surface there are deposits of lead, or the "black stone". Locals immediately abandoned sheep and began to make pens, which are so called "black stones", black - a "kara" and the stone - "dash." First ones were a thin graphite rod pointed at the end, and used them to draw. These sticks were soft, soiled hands and were used only for drawing, but not for writing.The first document, which refers to a wooden pencil, dated 1683 year. In Germany, the production of graphite pencils began in Nuremberg. Germans, mixing graphite gray and glue, produced the bar not such a high quality but at a lower price.

HB - hardness classification
Modern pencil was invented in 1794 by the talented French scientist and inventor Nikola Jacques Conté. At the end of the XVIII century, the British Parliament imposed a strict ban on the export of precious graphite from Cumberland. For violation of the ban was a harsh punishment, including the death penalty. But, despite this, graphite continued to fall in continental Europe through smuggling, which resulted in a sharp increase in its price. On the instructions of the French Convention, Conte developed a recipe mixing graphite with clay and production of these materials was high quality rods. With heat treatment, a high strength was achieved. But even more important was the fact that the change in the proportion has allowed to make rods of varying hardness, and that was the basis for the modern classification of pencil hardness.

Hexagonal body pencil offered at the end of XIX century Count Lothar von Faberkastl. He noticed that
round pencils often roll down the inclined surface for writing.

Propelling Pencil - Save the Trees

The invention of the mechanical pencil should be credited to the American Alonzo Townsend Cross. He said that almost two thirds of the material that constitutes a simple pencil, goes to waste when sharpening. This led him to the creation in 1869 of the metal pencil. Graphite rod was placed in a metal tube, and it needs to be ejected to the required length. That's the brief pencil creation history.

1 comment:

  1. We all use different kinds of writing instruments everyday. Most of us never question the origin of things.