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 Pen?

Who Invented the Pen?

Introduction The ability to write is one of those things that men believe sets them apart from animals. It is also one of the oldest. Archeologists have found cave drawings from the time of primitive humans. These were made with sharpened rocks, the first writing instruments. Early Writing Early Pens The Greeks invented the first writing instrument that resembled a pen. It was a sharp-pointed object called a stylus made of either bone or metal. They would use it to make marks on a wax-covered writing tablets. Since wax is vulnerable to scratches, they designed the tablets to fold in the middle to preserve the writing. So they looked like the earliest notebooks and journals too. In Rome, they used bamboo sticks for writing pens. They would fill it from one end with ink and the other end was sharpened for writing. The Chinese invented “india ink.” It was first used to paint hieroglyphs on stone. India ink was made from oil, soot and animal substances. Other peoples were making their own writing inks from various plants and minerals too. At the same time people were learning to make writing paper. While the Chinese used wood fiber, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used parchment and papyrus. In 700 AD, the well-known quill pen came into use. It was made from the feathers of live birds, usually goose or (more expensive) swan. The quill pen was hard to make and had to be replaced each week. The Modern Pen In 1884, a thousand years after the advent of the quill pen, Lewis Waterman invented the first modern fountain pen. Waterman was an insurance broker in New York. One of his clients was about to sign on to a lucrative contract...
Who Invented Astrology?

Who Invented Astrology?

The Age of the Early Babylonians If you would check out the historical records of astrology, you would probably see that the people who invented astrology are the Babylonians. This belief is supported by earliest pieces of astrological documents such as the Enuma Anu Enlil. This particular document is said to have been written during the early 1600 B.C., and holds an enumeration of astronomical omens and the respective interpretations for each. Babylonian Astrology was used mainly for prediction of certain events like famine, war, o meteorological circumstances. Aside from that, a main concern was also about the king’s fate. Thus, those who know astrology during that time would be employed by the king, and act as personal advisers. Another piece of history during that time points to around 400 B.C. when this group of people was believed to have started calculating and making a mathematical means to be used in astronomical prediction. Later, this early system, which was recorded on clay tablets, was disseminated to India and the whole of Middle East. The system proved helpful for the Babylonians in their attempts to read natal horoscopes and make their predictions. The Era of Greek Astrology If we are going to talk of the original creators of horoscopic astrology, what would come to mind would be the work of the Greeks. According to history, they get the credit for creating horoscopic astrology that was greatly used for natal horoscopes of people, and for providing answers to certain questions or appropriate actions to take. With the early system introduced by the Babylonians, the Greeks added their own various ideas and concepts. This includes the concepts of various signs in the horoscope as being male or female in nature, and the...
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...
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...
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