Paper has been a part of our life for a long time – we use it every day, without noticing how much labor has been put into its production. Some processes would be impossible without it. Who invented and produced the first semblance of sheets? The history of paper – that’s what we’ll talk about today.
Who first created paper?
The first scraps of ancient paper were discovered during excavations. Their age is determined by the beginning of the B.C. period. If we believe ancient Chinese chronicles (which is also confirmed by numerous finds from excavations in China), in 105 AD the first paper was obtained by Cai Lun. His technology of making paper was very simple. He took the hemp, wood ash and mulberry fibers, ground and stirred all the components with water. The resulting raw materials he poured into a sieve and kneaded with stones to a homogeneous thick mass. After drying, he formed strong sheets of paper. Before his trial production, the country produced paper only from hemp or silk.
This was followed by a long historical process of improvement. Starch and glue were added to paper, and later dyes. With the spread of paper sheets, the recipe for their rapid production began to interest Korea and Japan. Later, more than 100 years later, the method of making paper became known and the Arabs.
As the book industry developed, paper became more in demand in Europe, and so did the Chinese craftsmen’s invention, replacing animal parchment with lightweight and easy-to-make sheets of paper. By that time, sheets of paper began to weigh less, last longer and look nicer.
History of paper and paper machine
People began to feel the need for considerable amounts of paper, so the first semi-automatic paper-making machines began to appear. The main delay in making paper was scooping out the raw material. The paper machine was able to solve this problem. Invented by L. Robert 1799, the machine had a continuous mesh stretched over two rollers, which when rotated could filter out the raw material from the water.
Over the years, the paper machine has been periodically improved and refined. Each papermaker added his own know-how to the machinery. In the 19th century, it was already a multifunction machine that performed continuous paper-making processes. Such a machine produced a fairly good quality paper, much like its modern counterparts.
These days, paper factories are located all over the world (but the packaging is the same everywhere – do you know how many reams of paper there are in a box?). In Europe, the most concentrated production is in Austria and Slovakia. There are also a few plants in Russia. Large-scale production is also present in Finland. It is worth saying that the history of papermaking is quite long and varied. As the final product, and manufacturing machines have undergone many dramatic changes. Despite the production of huge batches and continuous operation of huge factories, the value of paper remains high today.