Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rubber Eraser Day

Another fun day topic! 

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By Akindman

Why are most erasers used up before the pencil?

A couple years before my Dad passed, he gave me to Pentel clic erasers.

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Now this was just too cool.  Especially since I use mechanical pencils all day and as you can imagine, wore out many erasers during the normal course of my daily routine.  I have purchase many of them since the first, some as gifts, others for myself – but my first one from my Dad – is safe and a fond memory.

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In 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered a way to cure rubber and make it a lasting and useable material. He called his process vulcanization, after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. In 1844, Goodyear patented his process. With the better rubber available, erasers became quite common.

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The first patent for attaching an eraser to a pencil was issued in 1858 to a man from Philadelphia named Hyman Lipman. This patent was later held to be invalid because it was merely the combination of two things, without a new use.

At first penknives were used to sharpen pencils. They got their name from the fact that they were first used to shape feather quills used as early pens. In 1828, Bernard Lassimone, a French mathematician applied for a patent (French patent #2444) on an invention to sharpen pencils. However, it was not until 1847 that Therry des Estwaux first invented the manual pencil sharpener, as we know it.

Most of us today use this key as our eraser
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Make no mistake, Rubber Eraser Day celebrates the invention of erasers. We all make mistakes. This day is designated to recognize and appreciate the value of that little plug (as manufacturers call them) that sits atop our pencils. When we make a mistake, they are the big "cover-up", make that eraser, of our booboo or faux pax. Just imagine how messy our documents would be without it!

Why not just call it "Eraser Day"? There's two reasons. The first erasers were made of rubber. Today, they are made of rubber, or vinyl.  Secondly, in Great Brittain, they are formally called "rubbers".

Today's Quote: To err is human, an eraser is divine!

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I wonder if this eraser works as advertised….


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