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 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 School?

Who Invented School?

A lot of people hate school. But lots more love it. It’s been around providing educational foundation for people. Both lovers and haters of it probably wonder who invented school. Or who started the idea of school? Byzantines or Hellenists? There are some suggested answers on the Internet, but they are far from being accurate about who invented school in particular. Most of them point to the Byzantines. They were said to be the first people on earth to come up with the idea of a school system. These people continued the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. They were heavily influenced by the Greeks, especially in language. The Greeks were so dedicated in seeking knowledge. They had been known for this long before the Byzantines thought of a school system. Thus, some say they were the ones who invented school. But what Greeks had was a form of discipleship, not a school. There was an itinerant teacher with disciples. They traveled to places. They seldom met in permanent places. They conducted lectures in different locations and some local folks sometimes joined in to listen. There was no formality. So they were not the ones who started the idea of school. The Byzantines liked the Greek idea of teaching a following, but they preferred to have it in an enclosed permanent area and with a system. The Greek philosophers and their disciples talked about anything randomly under the sun. They often sought meaning in life. The Byzantines wanted more specific subjects dealt with at a time. Like Mathematics, Language, Philosophy, Religion, History, and the like. Thus, they’re considered the people who invented school. Who’s Horace Mann? To give a specific name to answer who invented school, some mention Horace...
Who Invented String Art?

Who Invented String Art?...

Introduction String art refers to a novel type of design that became popular in the 1960s. It is made up of colored strings bound together to form interesting geometric patterns and shapes. String art has its basis and origin in mathematics. One can design an endless variety of string art works. Invention and History of String Art Everest Boole It is not right to say it was just one person who invented string art. Several brilliant minds helped develop it. The first of them was a remarkable woman named Everest Boole. Boole laws an Englishwoman who lived from 1832 to 1916. She was self-taught in mathematics at a time when ladies weren’t considered very bright. When Boole grew up, she worked in the academic field and married a fellow math expert, George Boole. Boole was an innovative teacher. She was the first to suggest that string art can be used to teach math to children. Boole herself used it to teach geometry. With string art, it was possible to make lines with curves. Paul de Castejau Next was a French mathematician and physicist, Paul de Castejau. He wasn’t the man who invented string art. But he created the algorithm for what would be called Bezier curves. String art is based on Bezier computations. Pierre Bezier The name “Bezier” is familiar to computer graphics artists because of the Bezier curve. Bezier was a well-known inventor, engineer and mathematician. After graduating from the University of Paris, he found a job as an engineer at an automobile company. There Bezier’s math skills were put to the test. He had to find a way to describe each point on a curve to help with manufacture and design. This was long before the time...
Who Invented the Pencil?

Who Invented the Pencil?...

Some kids would say in jest that Mr. Pencil invented the pencil. However, to correctly answer inquisitive young minds who keep wondering who invented the pencil, here are some facts. The First Pencil Was a Failure The first attempt to invent a pencil was not successful. It was made of powdered or pulverized graphite. The result was a poor quality pencil that easily broke. Graphite and clay should be mixed well to produce a proper kind of pencil. This was done by the man who invented the pencil properly. All quality pencil makers today, owe it to the first pencil maker who perfected the right formula for it. A French Army Officer Invented it In 1795, a French officer belonging to the army of Napoleon invented and patented the first quality pencil on earth. Nicholas Jacques Conte or simply NJ Conte discovered that ground graphite, when mixed with the right kinds of clay, produced the best lead for pencils. Pencils do not really contain lead. The black thin material in pencils is a mix of graphite, carbon, and clay. NJ Conte, the first pencil maker, turned graphite into powder. Then he mixed it with moist doughs of clay and pressed the thing to make thin sticks. He then cooked it in a kiln. This man who invented the pencil, outdid his German counterparts. Faber Pencils Later, the Faber family took it from there and produced quality pencils using the Conte formula. The same formula is used worldwide today. The writing implement was not named after NJ Conte. It was taken from the Latin word, “pencillus”. It means “little tail”, probably referring to the pointed lead tip. In those times, pencillus was used to refer to fine, pointed brushes before...
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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