Who invented paper? Paper is one the most used materials in the world. It has been used for writing, printing or publishing, packaging and wrapping things and for many other uses. It is a very important invention. There wouldn’t have been any newspapers and books if there were no paper materials. Civilization and its development would have never been possible if there was no paper. No one could acquire any knowledge from books or get any information without the invention of paper. We wouldn’t be able to learn about the past if it hasn’t been written and preserved.
♦ The word ‘paper’ comes from the name of the plant called Papyrus. Paper was invented in 3500 BC in Egypt. Ancient Egyptians needed to preserve so much information, so they used papyrus to write on it. It was named after the plant because ancient Egyptians used the strips of Papyrus to make the first paper. Papyrus that was found on the banks of Nile was a water plant like grass, only longer. The height of Papyrus is about 20 feet. Its leaves are also very long and they are triangular.
♦ To make paper, moistened rind of the Papyrus must be taken and turned into a paste. After that a presser is used for making sheets. Egyptians used those sheets to write on them. It was an expensive and time–consuming process to make Papyrus suitable paper. For this reason, the entire process of making paper wasn’t very popular.
♦ The modern type of paper was invented in 705 A.D. in China. It was done by a scholar named Tas’ Lun. One day he spotted a wasp building its nest. After watching this process, he got the idea that encouraged him to make something on which anyone can write. It was the invention of modern paper similar to what we use today. The wasp took a bamboo piece and made a ball by chewing it up and mixing it with its saliva. Then it pressed the ball and made a sheet to build the wall of its nest. Then the scholar took some dampened bamboo pieces and he crushed them and made a paste out of it. After that he pressed the pulp to a sheet and the paper was ready after drying.
♦ Today, paper is commercially made of wood. First, the wood is cut into some fine pieces and then mixed with water and some chemicals. After that the mixture is heated. This is how a soft mixture is ready (it is also known as wood pulp). Some chemicals are used to clean and whiten the wood pulp. Then this clean and white wood pulp is pressed in a machine and turned into sheets of paper. Old paper can also be recycled to make new paper by using the same process.