The invention of Writing, Paper and Print! l HISTORY OF CHINA
Originally from China: the invention of papermaking technology
What was written before the invention of paper
When writing appeared, people began to use natural materials to convey their thoughts and messages. In Russia, for example, the letter used to remove the bark of birch trees, on the back of which they scratched letters. Oddly enough, some birch bark letters even survived to our time and were found during excavations in Novgorod. The ancient papyrus was also preserved - paper from natural plant materials, consisting of thin pressed strips folded across each other. Fabric, leaves, leather, wooden and clay tablets were used as writing material, but all these materials were either too short-lived or very expensive.
China - the birthplace of the inventor of paper
At the beginning of the II century AD, in some sources 105 are mentioned, in others - 153 years, the Chinese inventor Cai Lun invented a completely new technology for making writing material.This technology was very laborious, but the diligence of the Chinese is all recognized as their national character. The inner, fibrous part of the bark taken from the mulberry tree was used as a raw material for paper. The fibers were separated from the outer part, mixed with the flax tows, shabby rags, scraps of fishing nets, straw, bast, taken from young bamboo stalks. Then all this was poured with water and frayed in a large stone mortar to the state of a homogeneous slurry.
After that, the gruel was laid out evenly in a thin layer to dry on wooden frames, between which a fine mesh woven from thin silk threads was stretched. The water flowed through it smoothly, and the wet, homogeneous paper pulp remained and dried out rather quickly. The finished sheets of paper were carefully removed from the frames and cut so that they could be used for writing and drawing.
The inventor was waiting for the award, and the technology of the paper was carefully classified. But during one of the military conflicts with the Arabs in 751, they were captured by Chinese workers who had previously worked on making paper for the emperor's court.The secret became known to the Arabs, who also were in no hurry to share with him. The Arabs first made paper in Samarkand, and then its production began to expand. Paper manufactured in Damascus manufactories began to be exported to Europe, where it was called �Damascus sheets�. But, of course, the Chinese are to be thanked for this invention.
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