Paper is the most representative example of the world’s greatest inventions. We use it to put in writing and print on, decorate our walls, clean ourselves and filter our coffee, among different things. The history of paper is a fascinating story, well definitely worth the telling.
Most history scholars and researchers cite the invention of paper as occurring in AD 105 once a man in the dynasty court named Cai Lun created a papermaking method that was informed to the Chinese Emperor by Ts’ai Lun, an official member of the Imperial Court, though recent archeologic proof points to the invention of papermaking occurring two hundred years earlier in Dunhuang in China’s northwest Gansu.
But whichever date you want to use, the invention of paper was soon a high-demand product. Remember, folks were writing long before paper was invented. From clay tablets to papyrus, linen, animal skins, metals, tree bark and different materials, human race used a range of materials to keep track of time, goods, and other info worth remembering.
Papermaking takes hold in China and spreads to other countries:
Early papermaking in China concerned a protracted drawn out method of making a suspension of hemp waste in water – then it was washed, soaked, and crushed to a pulp with a wooden mallet before gushing the mixture into a wooden frame. However early innovation led to the utilization of wood, bamboo, and other plant fibers being added, raising the quality of the early paper.
The new-fangled paper and crafting method spread to Korea where paper production started within the early sixth century AD. A Korean monk by the name of Don-Cho, in turn, brought papermaking art to Japan in AD 610, six years when Buddhism was introduced in Japan. Of course, the paper was used just for official documents, however, when Buddhism took hold, demand for paper rose dramatically.
The paper making method regularly was improved using artistic innovations by the Chinese, and shortly papermaking spread within the ninth century to the Islamic world. At this specific time, Islam was enjoying an excellent deal of cultural growth, and writing on paper was embraced with great zeal.
It was through the utilization of prodigious amounts of paper by Muslims that mathematics, astronomy, medicine, engineering, agriculture, and literature spread to different parts of the world, as well as the West.
Europeans have a tough time grasping the new invention:
Paper continued its expansion around the world, eventually making its way to Samarkand, a town in contemporary Uzbekistan and one among the oldest colonized cities in Central Asia. However, it took another five hundred years for papermaking to succeed in Europe. It wasn’t because Europeans did not know about paper, after all, some areas of Europe were importing paper as early as the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
The Gutenberg printing press begat other industries:
The BBC says the invention of the press changed the globe and led to Europe’s reformation. To be factual, the production of the printed page was invented nearly 600 years before by Chinese monks setting ink to paper using a technique called block printing.
But it’s Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith from Mainz in Germany who is attributable with the invention of a press that allowed for the printing of many pages of the printed word. And most folks cannot begin to imagine the work that went into the development of that press, or for that matter, the sum of technologies the invention encompassed.