How paper developed
Ts’ ai Lin, a Chinese court official, is credited with the invention of paper. He did this nearly 1900 years ago in the year 105 A.D.
Before the invention of paper, people wrote on a variety of materials. For example, animal skins called parchment and vellum were used by the ancient Greeks. And papyrus, a writing surface made by pounding a woven mat of papyrus reed into a thin, hard sheet was used by the ancient Egyptians. The word paper, in fact, is derived from thye word papyrus.
In the tenth century A.D. techniques for making paper by hand were introduced to te western world. North african moors disovered papermaking while trading with the East. In conquering Spain, the Moors brought papermaking to the West. The first paper mill in America was established in 1690 by William Rittenhouse. It was located near Philadelphia. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, hundreds of paper mills had sprung up throughout the country. However, it was not until the middle of the nineteenth century, when papermaking machines were put into general use, that the urgent demand for inexpensive paper could be met. Today, an average of well over 400 pounds of paper per man, woman, and child is used each year in the industrial developed countries.
How ink developed
Printing ink was also invented in China. Wei Dan is credited with developing an ink for block printing about 400 A.D. He made ink from plant substances mixed with colored earth and soot.
By the time of Gutenberg, inks were being made by mixing varnish with lampblack. The varnish was made by boiling linseed oil. These inks were used, with little modifiation, until the end of eighteenth century.
During the nineteenth century, advances were made in the use of driers to speed the drying of ink. Various new pigments for producing colored inks were also developed.
It was in the twentieth century, however, that major developments in ink making came about. Rapid technological advances in printing during the past fifty years brought about changes in the composition and manufacture of printing ink. Today, thousands of chemists are constantly working to improve old inks and develop new ones.