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History of Paper – A Chinese Invention?

Early Paper Making in Ancient China

❶During the Eastern Han dynasty 25 — CE , an easier and faster method of making paper was developed.

Paper invented in China

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History of Chinese Invention - The Invention of Paper
How Ts’ai Lun made paper

Silk and bamboo were also woven into cloth and used as paper, but they also required a lot of labor, time, and expense to manufacturer. During the Eastern Han dynasty 25 — CE , an easier and faster method of making paper was developed. The person, historically given as a de facto father of papermaking, is Cai Lun.

His role and work in Ancient China is debatable. Regardless of his duties, he is credited with developing a better way to make paper. Using plant fibers from pieces of rope, old fishing nets, cotton rags, bamboo and tree bark, Cai Lun shortened the time to produce the raw material necessary to begin making the paper by several months.

Next, he mixed wood ashes and water with the plant fibers and boiled it for about five weeks. Wood ashes are alkaline, which cooks or breakdowns the more acidic plant fibers. After the mixture had sufficiently boiled, a gluing agent, such as the juice from boiled birch leaves, was added. Today, paper is made from trees grown and harvested specifically for making paper, wood leftover from other projects such as flooring lumber , and from recycled paper.

Interesting to note is that we continue to use Ancient Chinese ideas for making paper, such as using non-wood products to make paper. This post may contain affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase through my links, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

It helps pay for my web hosting and supports my work. All attempts are made to present the most correct information, but it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstance and information may become outdated. Egypt continued with the thicker paper, while Iran became the center of the thinner papers.

Papermaking was diffused across the Islamic world, from where it was diffused further west into Europe. The oldest known paper document in the West is the Mozarab Missal of Silos from the 11th century, probably using paper made in the Islamic part of the Iberian Peninsula. They used hemp and linen rags as a source of fiber.

It is clear that France had a paper mill by , and by mills were established in Fabriano , Italy and in Treviso and other northern Italian towns by Papermaking then spread further northwards, with evidence of paper being made in Troyes , France by , in Holland sometime around —, in Mainz , Germany in , and in Nuremberg by in a mill set up by Ulman Stromer.

There was a paper mill in Switzerland by and the first mill in England was set up by John Tate in near Stevenage in Hertfordshire , [43] but the first commercially successful paper mill in Britain did not occur before when John Spilman set up a mill near Dartford in Kent. Arab prisoners who settled in a town called Borgo Saraceno in the Italian Province of Ferrara introduced Fabriano artisans in the Province of Ancona [ clarification needed ] the technique of making paper by hand.

At the time they were renowned for their wool-weaving and manufacture of cloth. Fabriano papermakers considered the process of making paper by hand an art form and were able to refine the process to successfully compete with parchment which was the primary medium for writing at the time.

They developed the application of stamping hammers to reduce rags to pulp for making paper, sizing paper by means of animal glue , and creating watermarks in the paper during its forming process. The Fabriano used glue obtained by boiling scrolls or scraps of animal skin to size the paper; it is suggested that this technique was recommended by the local tanneries. The introduction of the first European watermarks in Fabriano was linked to applying metal wires on a cover laid against the mould which was used for forming the paper.

They adapted the waterwheels from the fuller's mills to drive a series of three wooden hammers per trough. The hammers were raised by their heads by cams fixed to a waterwheel's axle made from a large tree trunk.

In the Americas, archaeological evidence indicates that a similar bark-paper writing material was used by the Mayans no later than the 5th century AD. The paper is created by boiling and pounding the inner bark of trees, until the material becomes suitable for art and writing. These materials made from pounded reeds and bark are technically not true paper , which is made from pulp, rags, and fibers of plants and cellulose.

European papermaking spread to the Americas first in Mexico by and then in Philadelphia by The use of human and animal powered mills was known to Chinese and Muslim papermakers. However, evidence for water-powered paper mills is elusive among both prior to the 11th century.

Donald Hill has identified a possible reference to a water-powered paper mill in Samarkand , in the 11th-century work of the Persian scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni , but concludes that the passage is "too brief to enable us to say with certainty" that it refers to a water-powered paper mill.

Clear evidence of a water-powered paper mill dates to in the Spanish Kingdom of Aragon. The first paper mill north of the Alps was established in Nuremberg by Ulman Stromer in ; it is later depicted in the lavishly illustrated Nuremberg Chronicle.

Before the industrialisation of the paper production the most common fibre source was recycled fibres from used textiles, called rags. The rags were from hemp , linen and cotton. It was not until the introduction of wood pulp in that paper production was not dependent on recycled materials from ragpickers. Although cheaper than vellum, paper remained expensive, at least in book-sized quantities, through the centuries, until the advent of steam-driven paper making machines in the 19th century, which could make paper with fibres from wood pulp.

Although older machines predated it, the Fourdrinier papermaking machine became the basis for most modern papermaking.

Nicholas Louis Robert of Essonnes , France , was granted a patent for a continuous paper making machine in At the time he was working for Leger Didot with whom he quarrelled over the ownership of the invention. Didot sent his brother-in-law, John Gamble, to meet Sealy and Henry Fourdrinier , stationers of London , who agreed to finance the project. Gamble was granted British patent on 20 October With the help particularly of Bryan Donkin , a skilled and ingenious mechanic, an improved version of the Robert original was installed at Frogmore Paper Mill , Hertfordshire , in , followed by another in A third machine was installed at the Fourdriniers' own mill at Two Waters.

The Fourdriniers also bought a mill at St Neots intending to install two machines there and the process and machines continued to develop. However, experiments with wood showed no real results in the late 18th century and at the start of the 19th century.

By , Matthias Koops in London, England further investigated the idea of using wood to make paper, and in he wrote and published a book titled Historical account of the substances which have been used to describe events, and to convey ideas, from the earliest date, to the invention of paper. No pages were fabricated using the pulping method from either rags or wood.

He received financial support from the royal family to make his printing machines and acquire the materials and infrastructure needed to start his printing business. But his enterprise was short lived. Only a few years following his first and only printed book the one he wrote and printed , he went bankrupt. The book was very well done strong and had a fine appearance , but it was very costly. Then in the s and s, two men on two different continents took up the challenge, but from a totally new perspective.

Both Friedrich Gottlob Keller and Charles Fenerty began experiments with wood but using the same technique used in paper making; instead of pulping rags, they thought about pulping wood. And at about the same time, by mid, they announced their findings. They invented a machine which extracted the fibres from wood exactly as with rags and made paper from it.

Charles Fenerty also bleached the pulp so that the paper was white. This started a new era for paper making. By the end of the 19th-century almost all printers in the western world were using wood in lieu of rags to make paper. Together with the invention of the practical fountain pen and the mass-produced pencil of the same period, and in conjunction with the advent of the steam driven rotary printing press , wood based paper caused a major transformation of the 19th century economy and society in industrialized countries.

With the introduction of cheaper paper, schoolbooks, fiction, non-fiction, and newspapers became gradually available by Cheap wood based paper also meant that keeping personal diaries or writing letters became possible and so, by , the clerk , or writer, ceased to be a high-status job.

The original wood-based paper was acidic due to the use of alum and more prone to disintegrate over time, through processes known as slow fires. Documents written on more expensive rag paper were more stable. Mass-market paperback books still use these cheaper mechanical papers see below , but book publishers can now use acid-free paper for hardback and trade paperback books.

Determining the provenance of paper is a complex process that can be done in a variety of ways. The easiest way is using a known sheet of paper as an exemplar. Using known sheets can produce an exact identification. Next, comparing watermarks with those contained in catalogs or trade listings can yield useful results.

Inspecting the surface can also determine age and location by looking for distinct marks from the production process. Chemical and fiber analysis can be used to establish date of creation and perhaps location. It has also become universal to talk of paper "mills" even of such mills at Fez! All our evidence points to non-hydraulic hand production, however, at springs away from rivers which it could pollute. European papermaking differed from its precursors in the mechanization of the process and in the application of water power.

Gimpel goes on to say: Paper had traveled nearly halfway around the world, but no culture or civilization on its route had tried to mechanize its manufacture. Indeed, Muslim authors in general call any "paper manufactory" a wiraqah — not a "mill" tahun. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Invention of Printing. A History of Graphic Design. Createspace Independent Pub, , p. A Book about Books.

A Millennium in the Production and Use of Paper". A Millennium of the Book: Oxford University Press, Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Part 2. Papermaking in Britain — From Origins to Possible Futures. Medieval Science, Technology, and Medicine: Historical account of the substances which have been used to describe events, and to convey ideas, from the earliest date, to the invention of paper.

Paper in the Making. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. China clay Fiber crop Paper chemicals Papyrus Wood pulp. Retrieved from " https:

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Paper invented in China. Since the invention of writing, people had been trying to come up with something easier to write on than papyrus or parchment, and also something easier and cheaper to make. (Read more about papyrus) But it took years to come up with paper! Paper was invented around BC in China.

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The historian Fan Hua ( CE) recorded this version of events, but archaeological finds from western China and Tibet suggest that paper was invented centuries earlier. Samples of even more ancient paper, some of it dating to c. BCE, have been unearthed in the ancient Silk Road cities of Dunhuang and Khotan, and in Tibet.

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History of Chinese Invention - The Invention of Paper The word "paper" is derived from the word "papyrus," which was a plant found in Egypt along the lower Nile River. About 5, years ago, Egyptians created "sheets" of papyrus by harvesting, peeling and slicing the plant into strips. Books at that time were made of wood or bamboo slips so they were heavy and occupied a lot of space. Reading at the time needed not only brainwork but also physical strength. In A.D. Cai Lun, a eunuch during the Eastern Han Dynasty, invented paper from worn fishnet, bark and cloth.

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The Invention of Paper. There is ample archaeological evidence of primitive paper types from the 2nd century BCE in China, largely using hemp. 5 steps Ancient Chinese papermaking process in AD Photo by: Wikipedia Creative Commons A lot of the people living in the modern age take paper for granted. It is a common object found nearly everywhere, it is cheap and light, and it is easy to get a hold of. But paper has come a.