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The origin of the six most popular school supplies

Many tools and adaptations we consider things familiar in our daily lives, and school supplies are no exception. By the way, did you think about how and why materials appeared that we habitually use during our studies?

1. Pencil

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The stylus, an ancient Roman writing instrument, was the progenitor of a modern pencil. Some early styluses were made from lead. For the first time graphite was used instead of heavy metal in 1564 in England. He left darker lines on paper, but was too soft and easily broken. To protect graphite, he needed a holder. The first holders or corps for graphite were ropes, wound on graphite sticks. Later, the ropes were replaced with hollow wooden sticks, and the first production of pencils began in 1662 in Nuremberg. By the end of the 19th century, pencils were made in the USA massively, they were made of red cedar, but they were not painted so that the texture of the wood was better seen.

2. Eraser

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Until 1770, when the first erasers appeared, people erased their pencil errors with pieces of rubber or wax, and sandstone or pumice was used to remove ink. Japanese writers used soft bread to erase a pencil. English engineer Edward Nairn was the first to apply an eraser from rubber and was impressed with the effect. The problem was that his erasers were easily scattered, and they had an unpleasant smell. When Charles Goodyear invented vulcanization, the problem was solved. And then in the middle of the 19th century, Haimen Lipman patented his good idea, and the erasers began to be attached to the tip of the pencil.

3. Ballpoint pen

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In 1888, American tanner John Loud patented the first version of a ballpoint pen to mark the skins, and then other inventors began to patent their modifications of this invention. In 1935, Ladislas and Greg Biro, frustrated by fountain pens, wanted to invent a pen more versatile and improve ink. This is how Biro handles were born, but there were no huge sales, and after the Second World War, the inventors sold their design to Eberhard Faber for 500 thousand dollars. Milton Reynolds, a Chicago-based salesman who became interested in the handle of Biro, became a multi-millionaire after he started to produce and sell this product in the US. The business prospered, but buyers constantly found that there were still a lot of flaws in the pens. Since then, the modernization of such a simple thing does not stop.

4. Transporter

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The transporter measures angles for the last 500 years. Cartographer Thomas Blundeville first described this tool in his monograph of 1589 “A Brief Description of Universal Maps.” By the beginning of the 17th century, the protractors were often used by seamen for navigation. By the 20th century they had come to school. Began to produce protractors of brass, steel, ivory and plastic in the form of circles, rectangles, squares, semicircles and a quarter of the circles. Some protractors are issued with rulers, stencils and templates. The Japanese protractor, exhibited at the World Exhibition of 1876, looked like a bar with jags, and every 30 degrees was marked with the sign of the zodiac.

5. Drawing compasses

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Drawing compasses have existed since ancient times. Samples of these Roman instruments can be seen in the British Museum. Initially, both legs of the drawing compass ended with sharp ends, so that on paper you could scratch the circle, which was then inked. In the 18th century a graphite pencil was already attached to one leg to draw circles on paper. Earlier circulations were made of brass, German silver, aluminum, steel, wood and plastic. They could also be beautifully decorated, turning into small works of art.

6. Backpack

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Before the arrival of backpacks schoolchildren and students put textbooks in a pile and bandaged it with a leather or cloth strap. In 1938, Gerry Outdoors invented the first backpack with a zipper, but at that time the students were not very interested in this novelty. It was sold mainly to tourists and skiers, and students and went with bandaged piles of books or portfolios. In 1967, Gerry Outdoors created the first modern nylon backpack, and it instantly became a hit, but again for tourists. The students accepted this accessory later. To keep up with the times, backpacks have since become smaller, and now they are equipped with additional pockets and compartments for smartphones, tablets and other gadgets.

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