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
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
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.