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  Invention Of Paper    

It is said that the first people to invent paper were the Chinese. According to history,in 105 A.D.a Chinese court official by the name of Ts'ai Lun invented paper.Ts'ai Lun, a Chinese court official who lived in the Eastern Han Dynasty presented the invention to Emperor He Di in 105 AD. The materials he used were composed of mulberry tree bark, remnants of hemp, linen rags, and fishnets mashed into a pulp. the pulp was then pressed to remove the liquid and hung to dry in the sun. Paper was born and this humble mixture would set off one of mankind's greatest communication revolutions. Literature and the arts flourished in China.Over the years, a variety of paper emerged and some of the varieties include hemp paper, hide paper, bamboo paper, and xuan paper which mostly used in Chinese paintings and calligraphy.

Bhuddist monks gradually spread the art of paper making to Japan around 610 A.D. Papermaking became an essential part of Japanese culture and was used for writing material, fans, garments, dolls, and as an important component of houses. The technique of block printing was also initially introduced by the Japanese.

In 751 A.D., Chinese and Arab armies clash after decades of peaceful trading. The chinese were defeated and many were taken prisoner. Among the prisoners were paper makers who attempted to bargain for their freedom by teaching the Arabs the secrets of paper making.

It took about 400 years for paper to traverse the Arab world to Europe. The first paper mill in Europe was built by the Arabs in Xativa, Spain. Paper making continued here under Moorish rule until 1244 when European armies drove them out. Paper making then began to gradually spread across Christian Europe. Italy was also swept up in the paper making frenzy and becomes a major paper producer. The Italians dominated the European market for many years by producing large amounts of paper and exporting it.

Another European country to follow in the footsteps of the Italians were the French. French monks begin producing paper for holy texts such as the bible. France quickly adopted this new technology and becomes a self-sufficient and competitive paper producer.

Italians also gave assistance to other European countries.With assistance from the Italians, the first paper mill in Germany was converted from a flour mill. Germany greatly improved the craft and made the finest papers available. In 1453 Johann Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press. The printing press was the next stage in the communication revolution.Books were previously owned by monasteries, royalty, and scholars.But now, large numbers of people had access to books, and more importantly knowledge. With the availability of books, literacy increased.

In 1588 A.D.,England joined the rest of the world and began to make its own paper.