Saturday, April 19, 2014

Remember These Things...?

There may be a whole generation of young folks out there that have never had to use a pencil with an eraser. That's kinda sad when you think about it.

When I was still in school(back in the Dark Ages) wood pencils were the norm rather than the exception. Sure, there some kids that used the newer mechanical pencils, but they were not very common. I guess that my generation made a lot of mistakes because I remember places selling just the erasers without the pencils, know what I mean? Boy have things changed!



In 1770, the first version of the rubber eraser was sold by an English optician and engineer named Edward Nairne. Edward got his invention by accident—he meant to pick up bread crumbs to erase some pencil markings, as was common at the time, but his hands landed on a nearby piece of rubber. After he discovered how well it worked, Nairne began marketing and selling rubber cubes as erasers. br/>
Later that year, coincidentally, British chemist Joseph Priestly made the same observation about rubber’s properties. It was Priestly who named the substance (previously simply referred to as “vegetable gum”) for its ability to rub out pencil marks.

Early versions of the rubber eraser were perishable and smelled foul. Charles Goodyear, the man most associated with rubber, solved both problems in 1839 by adding sulfur, a process he called “vulcanization.” Rubber erasers first found their way onto pencils in 1858, but the US denied Hymen L. Lipman a patent for the combination because it simply joined two existing inventions. Yet in the next decade, Lipman did indeed get a patent, and his Faber company started producing pencils with pink rubber ends.

Today, some rubber is still made from the latex of the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis, but other types use synthetic materials like styrene and butadiene.

Man, I'm old enough to remember using a Big Chief tablet and a No. 2 pencil! You had to be careful on those tablets, because it seems to me that the paper was very easy to tear! Now I really feel old!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Going to be in the 80s the rest of the week!

9 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

You ain't the only one who used Big Chief tablets, As I remember, they were more like newsprint paper than today's notebook paper.

Bob Shannon said...

I still use and carry a pencil to this day. I carry a cut off pencil(with the eraser of course) in my Multitool sheath on my belt.

Sixbears said...

I like those big flat carpenter's pencils, but there are no erasers on them. Good for woodworking as they aren't always rolling away from you.

Chickenmom said...

Remember cardboard pencil boxes to put all those new sharpened ones in? And how about the plastic ones with the multiplication table slider on it?
Coffee sounds great - I'll bring hot cross buns for all!

Mamahen said...

Yep I remember them all also....The company my father worked for had pencils made with their name on them, that dad and several others who worked there brought home. You could tell whose parents worked at Carbide by the grey pencils instead of the more common yellow ones....The patio sounds nice as well as the hot cross buns....I wish everyone a blessed Easter weekend.

JO said...

I used to buy pencils in pkg.s for the grand kids since it seemed they all started school around the same time and another group the following year. then for some reason I wound up with tons of pencils the problem was the erasers got hard and made the paper all black. So I had to buy bunches of the erasers that went over the pencil top.

It sure is a pretty morning for sitting outside with friends.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
That's the way that I remember them being as well! Thanks for clarifying it for me!

I appreciate you coming over today!



Hey Bob...
Still a pretty handy tool to have on hand.

Hey, thanks for coming over today!



Hey Sixbears...
Pretty handy to use when woodworking. The old coveralls had pockets made just for them, as I remember.

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Phyllis...
Yeah, I do remember them! Funny how some things we never think about can pop up when we get to talking about them!

Thanks for dropping by today!



Hey Mamahen...
Many companies had pencils with the company name on them Reckon it was pretty cheap advertising.

Thanks for the visit this morning!



Hey Jo...
Grands always seem to know that grandma had pencils, paper, and even crayons around to play with! After all, that's what grandma and grandpa did, right?

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

Sissy said...

I have Dad's first grade pencil. He sharpened it 88 years ago. The eraser is hardly used but the pencil itself is only one inch remaining - Dad didn't make too many writing mistakes is my conclusion. He always sharpened it with his Old Timer pocketknife. Never once did the lead/graphite break (highly unlikely with pencils today) Watching him slowly and patiently sharpen it is a memory I will retain forever; I picture the memory each time I make a point on the artist's pencils. Not to daddy's perfection standard yet but I'm getting better (grin) each day.

Guess I'll stick around here today and work; I'm filled to the brim with coffee. Next time I'll be there with a bouquet of my spring blooms for you.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I remember all of the above, and yes, I am old.