Saturday, December 20, 2014


 Since the invention of writing, people had been trying something easier to write on than papyrus or parchment, and also something easier and cheaper to make. But it actually took 3000 years to come up to the invention of paper. 
Paper is believed to be invented around 100 BC in China. Ancient paper pieces from the Xuanquanzhi ruins of Dunhuang in China's northwest Gansu province apparently were made during the period of Emperor Wu who reigned between 140 BC and 86 BC.

But it was Ts'ai Lun who was the actual inventor of paper. His role in developing a material for papermaking deserves the place of honor in Chinese history for revolutionized his country. In 105 AD, the Han Dynasty emperor Ho-Ti, a government official in China named Ts'ai Lun was the first to start a paper-making industry.

 Ts'ai Lun had mixed the finely chopped mulberry bark and hemp rags with water, mashing it flat, and then pressing out the water and letting it dry in the sun for making paper. He might had based his idea on bark cloth, which was very common in China and also made from mulberry bark. Ts'ai Lun's paper was a big success, and began to be used all over China. 
The paper was soon very popularly used in China and spread to the rest of world through the Silk Road.

In few years, the Chinese began to use paper for writing. By 740 A.D., The first printed newspaper was seen in China.

The real advancement in papermaking came with the development of a smooth material for the mold covering, which made it possible for the papermaker to free the newly formed sheet and reuse the mold immediately. This covering was made from thin strips of rounded bamboo stitched or laced together with silk, flax, or animal hairs.

Papermaking was moved to Korea as early as the 6th century AD. Pulp for paper was prepared from the fibers of hemp, rattan, mulberry, bamboo, rice straw, and seaweed. According to tradition, a Korean monk named Don-cho brought papermaking to Japan by sharing his knowledge at the Imperial Palace in approximately 610 A.D.

Taught by Chinese papermakers, This technique eventaully reached Tibet around 650 A.D. Tibetans began to make their own paper as a replacement for their traditional writing materials. The shape of Tibetan paper books still reflects the long, narrow format of the original palm-leaf books. Chinese papermakers also spread their craft into Central Asia and Persia,

It was later introduced into India by traders after 645 A.D. When Hsuan Tsang arrived India in 671 A.D., paper was already very popularly used there.

After a little more than 500 years, the Arabs learned the paper-making from the Chinese prisoners during a big battle in 751 AD in Samarkand and built the first paper industry in Baghdad in 793 A.D. Now people in the Abbasid Caliphate began to use paper.

The Egyptians learned the paper making from the Arabs during the early 10th century. Around 1100 A.D. paper arrived in Northern Africa. 
By 1150 A.D. it arrived to Spain as a result of the crusades and established the first paper industry in Europe.
 In 1453 A.D. Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press. The first paper industry in the North America was built in Philadelphia in 1690.

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