Who Invented Chalk?

Who Invented Chalk?

Your first encounter with chalk might have been in the classroom where you often see your teachers use them to write on a chalkboard. The most familiar form of chalk a lot of people have come familiar with is made of slender sticks around a quarter of an inch thick and about three inches long. You might even have come to wonder who invented chalk. Who Invented Chalk It might come as a disappointment to find out that no one can tell who invented chalk. Chalk is readily found in nature and has been used as a tool for drawing and writing for quite a long time. Drawings that date even to the prehistoric times have been discovered by archaeologists. The earliest chalk writings/drawings have been found in caves. As time went by artists from various countries used chalk to make drawings and sketches. Their work was protected using shellac or any comparable substance. For the convenience of these artists, a major innovation was introduced – chalks shaped into sticks. Even though chalk artists can’t be credited as the ones who invented chalk, their need introduced an innovation that would last for centuries. Making Chalk In the same way we don’t know who invented chalk, we also don’t know who invented the method to make chalk into sticks. What we know is that the method starts by grinding natural chalk into a very fine powdery form. Water is then added along with clay and various color pigments depending on what color of chalk you want to make. The clay actually acts as a binder of some sort. The mixture will initially look something like putty that would be rolled and shaped into cylinders and then would be left to...
Who Invented the Pencil Sharpener?

Who Invented the Pencil Sharpener?...

A look at the history of pencil sharpeners shows that the Frenchman Bernard Lassimone was the first to get a patent for pencil sharpeners in 1828. Following his invention, other designers made improvements and refinements. The Early Pencil Sharpeners Pencils had been invented before the sharpener and people used knives to sharpen them. It was a tedious process and the result was uneven. After Lassimone’s invention, Therry des Estwaux came out with a mechanical sharpener in 1844. It took a while before the devices were accepted. But by 1865 companies were already manufacturing pencil sharpeners. A company called Eureka filed a patent for a small sharpener sometime in the mid 1860s. By the 1880s, several companies started producing them in larger numbers. One of the most well known companies in the early history of pencil sharpeners was Eagle Pencil Company in New York. A Look at Early Pencil Sharpeners From the 1880s to the early 1900s, many kinds of pencil sharpeners were developed in Europe and America. The electric sharpeners came out around 1917, but other types were produced. 1916’s New Era Pencil Sharpener resembled a plunger. The pencil would be placed inside the device and press it again and again. This process sharpened the blade. Another unique device was the Babock Duplex Pencil Sharpener. The device was patented in 1900 and came with a rotary of 6 blades. The history of pencil sharpeners shows that it was operated in the following manner. When the pencil was inserted, the blades would rotate around it. The right hand operates the crank that rotates the blade. The left hand operates the metal bar. One of the earliest sharpeners was invented by Guhl and Hurbeck in 1897 in Germany. It was called...
Who Invented the Chalkboard?

Who Invented the Chalkboard?...

Mr. James Pillans is regarded as the inventor of the chalkboard (or blackboard). He was the Headmaster of a high school in Edinburgh, Scotland. However, the experts on the history of the chalkboard aren’t sure when he invented it. Blackboard and Chalkboard The word chalkboard is used mainly in the United States. It started to be used around 1935-40. In other countries and regions, blackboard is the term employed. The word blackboard has been in use for a much longer period. Records show it was being utilized as far back as 1815. Spread of the Chalkboard Exactly how Pillans conceived of the chalkboard isn’t clear. But it’s known he was using it to teach geography in the school and that he was using a chalk. The device was first employed in the US in 1801. A teacher at West Point named George Baron used the chalkboard for his math class. However the history of the chalkboard began, its use became widespread. This is understandable. Prior to 1801, teachers couldn’t present their concepts and ideas in a visual manner. In most classes, students employed slates. The material was made of wood and covered with black grit. Other slates were made of porcelain. It was where students used to write their lessons. Because there were no chalkboards, the teaching process was tedious. If a teacher wanted the students to solve a math equation, they would go to every student. The instructor would write the math problem on the slate. To make matters worse, not all students had slates. The first school in California was inaugurated in 1846. Because the students and teachers didn’t have slates, the students had to write their answers on their hands. As the history of the chalkboard...
Who Invented the Spiral Notebook?

Who Invented the Spiral Notebook?...

The established facts about spiral notebooks show it was first mentioned in the October 1934 issue of Popular Science. However the magazine did not say who the inventor was. Early accounts also called it the memorandum notebook. The Binding Aside from spiral, there are many types of binding used. These include clasp, pressure, comb and padding. Some manufacturers combine these methods in one notebook. The binding affects the way a notebook is opened and how it is linked to the covers. In spiral notebooks for example, it is possible to remove the pages. In other binding methods you cannot remove the paper without damaging the notebook itself. One of the well known facts about spiral notebooks is that the covers are almost always thicker than the pages inside. The way the pages are held affect the cost of the notebook itself. Most of the time, the spiral types are cheaper. There are hard bound notebooks with a sewn spine. Some notebooks also have perforations that allow a user to take out the page more easily. Other designs allow for the pages to open in a flat manner, but others drape. Variations Some notebooks are fastened by disc or rods, and in these cases, the pages are modified to fit the binding. The ring bound types are fastened together using threads or curved prongs. The disc bound notebooks have teeth that grasp the raised border of each disc. One of the known facts about spiral notebooks is that their pages cannot be rearranged as easily as these other types. Appearance Spiral notebooks have lines on them where one can write on. However those used for drawing don’t have any. Other notebooks have designs on the pages themselves. The covers are...
Who Invented the Scientific Method?

Who Invented the Scientific Method?...

A study of the history of the scientific method will reveal that it was not invented by one single person. Rather, its development is best defined as the accumulation of knowledge that led to scientific analysis and understanding. The Scientific Method among Ancient Civilizations The first instance of this method being used began with texts indexes. These have been found in many cultures as far back as 2000 BC. The use of empirical methods can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Empirical methods were used by the Egyptians particularly with regards to astronomy and mathematics. This practice was continued by the ancient Greeks. One of the most important figures in the history of the scientific method was Aristotle. In 320 BC, he compiled a series of texts wherein he classified scientific data into several fields. These included biology, zoology, physics, logic, politics and poetry. Around 200 BC, a catalogued library was established in Alexandria in Egypt. Another important event occurred in 800 AD when Muslim scientists started conducting controlled experiments, which would become part and parcel of scientific investigation. In 1265 Roger Bacon redefined the scientific method by using observation, hypothesis and experiments. The Modern Scientific Method Emerges The late 1590s witnessed the invention of the microscope, which was crucial in the history of the scientific method. In 1600, laboratories began to be established. This was followed in 1620 by the publication of Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum. In the book, Bacon proposed a new system for acquiring and verifying scientific data. Another important treatise was Rene Descartes’ Discourse on Method. Along with the works of John Stuart Mill, these individuals were responsible for the basic framework of the scientific method. In 1638, Galileo published Two New Sciences, which aimed...
Who Invented Algebra?

Who Invented Algebra?

Algebra. For most of us, it is one of the banes of school life. Many see it as an adverse course, an unnecessary complication for one’s academics. It is then not rare for students to joke about their contempt for the inventor of the subject. Well, it maybe a playful joke but it does lead to an important question: who invented algebra anyway? Now, some may not pursue the thought of finding out the creator of their much-hated subject but for those who will do, it will be a fruitful exercise as it will make one realize the importance of the role that algebra played in human progress. So who invented algebra? Most of us are accustomed with inventions having a definite inventor: a single individual, like Thomas Edison for the light bulb, or a specific group of people like Chinese for gun powder. This is not the case with algebra however. Asking who invented algebra will give you the Arabs who are widely credited for the creation of the said branch of mathematics but there are also those that believe the Babylonians are the ones that must be given credit for inventing the algebra. But where does this rift concerning the question who invented algebra come from? As can be seen from the word itself, algebra, which comes from the Arabic al-jabr, one of the basic operations discussed in the influential book made by Arabs about the subject, Arabs contributed a lot to the subject. So much was their contribution that only through the translation of their works did the West learned much about algebra. The modern word that is algebra came into being only when the book was translated from Arabic into Latin by a Western scholar...
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