Homework Help

Who Invented Paper?

user profile pic

enotes | Valedictorian

Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:00 PM via web

dislike 0 like

Who Invented Paper?

5 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

fact-finder | Valedictorian

Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

The wood-derived paper still used today was developed in A.D. 105 by Chinese inventor Tsai Lun. He was the first to create a thin, flat sheet or tissue from mostly bark, hemp, and other fibrous materials such as rags. The elements of this ancient method are still used in paper mills. Chinese paper slowly made its way to the West, spreading first to Japan in A.D. 610 and then to Egypt around A.D. 900. Around A.D. 1100 paper was introduced in Spain by the Moors, a nomadic people originally from modern-day Mauritania who spread cultural influences in Europe.

By the 1400s paper was being made throughout Europe, but it was not until the late 1700s that paper was being produced in long, continuous rolls. In 1798 a French paper mill clerk invented a machine that could make a continuous sheet of paper, of various sizes and shapes, from wood pulp. The machine was improved and patented by English paper makers Henry Fourdrinier (1766–1854) and Sealy Fourdrinier (?–1847) in 1807. This invention was crucial to the development of newspapers.

Ancient predecessors to modern paper included Egyptian papyrus (the plant for which paper is named), Babylonian clay tablets, and Indian palm leaves. Other useful surfaces included vellum (made of lambskin, kidskin, or calfskin) and parchment (made of sheepskin or goatskin), both of which were superior surfaces for painting.

Further Information: Duke Papyrus Archive. [Online] Available http://odyssey.lib.duke.edu:80/papyrus, October 23, 2000; Lavigne, J. R. Pulp and Paper Dictionary. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Publications, 1986; Papyrus. [Online] Available http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/09815.html, October 23, 2000.

user profile pic

pencilman | Student | Honors

Posted October 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

the chinese created paper. two kinds actually. the first was thick and alittle  waterlogged. the second one that was invented was thinner and was used for writing and printing, while the first one was used for wrapping things. the thinner kind of paper was made by soaking fibres, drying them, then peeling them out of the wire gauze that it was on. china tried to keep paper production a secret but it was eventually spread to other parts of the world. just like silk. 

user profile pic

Yojana_Thapa | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted February 23, 2014 at 5:38 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

The first paper known to history was made in around 3500 BC by the ancient Egyptians who used strips from the papyrus reeds which they dampened, made into a criss-cross pattern and pressed into sheets. Our very word paper comes from "papyrus". However, paper closer to our modern type was invented in China in about AD 705 by a scholar called Ts'ai Lun.

user profile pic

Jyotsana | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:31 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

Paper was invented in China in about 705 AD by a scholar called Ts'ai Lun. He watched a wasp making its nest by chewing up pieces of bamboo, mixing them with its own saliva and working the resultant ball into a flat sheet with its feet and using the sheet to build wall in its nest. He copied the wasp, making a paste of bamboo and water and spreading the flat sheet to dry in the sun.

user profile pic

parama9000 | Student , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted February 28, 2014 at 3:06 PM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

Arguably, the Chinese invented paper first.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes