Pencil Sharpener

Sharpen your brain with these pencil sharpener facts.

  • Pencil sharpeners are stationery items that are used to sharpen pencils, and are also known as ‘parers’, ‘toppers’, ‘pointers’ and ‘sharpeners’.
  • Pencil sharpeners are available in electric, mechanical, or manual designs, and small manual sharpeners are the most common type used.
  • Pencil sharpeners replaced knives, which were historically used to shave or whittle pencils into a point.
  • Pencil sharpeners were first patented in 1828 by Bernand Lassimonne, a mathematician from France, and in 1847, they were made more practical by Therry des Estwaux, who is sometimes credited with the invention.
  • Pencil sharpeners are commonly fixed in a container that tidies and stores the pencil shavings, until the shavings are emptied in the garbage.

Sharpener, Green, Blue, Red, Silver, Grey, Metal, Plastic, Smiggle, Ten Random Facts,

  • The most common type of pencil sharpener is typically manufactured in the form of a rectangular prism made from plastic, metal, or wood, with a sharp metal blade that shaves the pencil as the pencil is revolved in the hole.
  • Electric powered pencil sharpeners were used as early as 1910, and were more commonly available from the 1940s.
  • Pencil sharpeners have been adapted to sharpen different sizes and shapes of pencil.
  • Pencil sharpener housings are manufactured into many different designs such as automobiles or animals, and are sometimes available as souvenirs or collectibles.
  • Some pencil sharpeners have disk cutters or cylindrical cutters, which are often bulkier, and usually have a crank handle.
History, n.d, Sacapuntas Maquinetes Sharpeners,,historia/hotel,/History.html
Inventor of the Pencil Sharpener, 2014, Lifetips,
Pencil sharpener, 2013, Wikipedia,


Wrapping Paper

Without wrapping paper, what would you do?

  • ‘Wrapping paper’ is also known as ‘gift wrap’ and in the early 1900s it was known as ‘gift dressing’.
  • Wrapping paper is used to attractively hide the content of presents using anything from paper to bags to boxes.
  • Wrapping paper is commonly held around the gift and taped to itself with pressure-sensitive tape and embellished with ribbon and ribbon bows.
  • Wrapping paper was first recorded in Ancient China, dating back to 100BC, and was probably used for protecting items from damage, rather than to hide its contents.
  • Thick, decorative wrapping paper was often used by the wealthy in the 1800s to cover gifts, and in the early 1900s, plain red, white or green tissue paper was commonly used to wrap Christmas presents.

Wrapping Paper, Merry christmas, red, white, silver, Teddy Bear, Brown, Angel, four, Sheets, Ten Random Facts, Gift wrap

  • In 1917, Rollie and J.C. Hall, founders of the greeting card company Hallmark, sold out of tissue paper in their retail store in the lead up to Christmas, so they supplied customers with fancy coloured envelope linings as an alternative, which were extremely popular, and this caused decorative wrapping paper to be quickly added to their line of products.
  • Wrapping paper is sometimes reused, but is usually discarded, and in the United States alone, 3.6 million tonnes (4 million tons) of the paper and shopping bags from the Christmas season is sent to the rubbish dump, and accounts for 4/5 of the extra waste in that period.
  • Decorated paper is the most common type of wrapping paper, although historically, fabric wrapping cloths, known as ‘furoshiki’ in Japan and ‘bogaji’ in Korea were typically used, and these, as well as other fabric wrappings and reused paper from various sources, are sometimes used as an environmentally friendly alternative.
  • Up until the early 1900s, brown paper was typically used as wrapping paper for gifts and purchased goods.
  • People spend large quantities of money on wrapping paper; an estimated $2.6 billion in the United States, every year.
Garber M, Wrapper’s Delight: a Brief History of Wrapping Paper, 2012, The Atlantic,
Gift Wrapping, 2013, Wikipedia,


Compass (Mathematical)

Draw the best circles with compasses!

  • Compasses are stationery items that are primarily used to draw accurate circles and curves.
  • Compasses have previously been used to draw accurate diagrams, although in modern times, computer technology is more often used.
  • Today, compasses are often used in teaching, particularly in geometry subjects in mathematics.
  • Compasses are typically produced from materials of metal and plastic.
  • Compasses generally have two small rods, one with a point and one with a pencil holder, which are connected with a hinge, that gives the ability to change the angle of the rods.

Drawing compass, Metal, Silver, One, Single, Self, Mathematics, Geometry, Stationary, Ten Random Facts

  • Compasses are used to draw circles by placing the point and the pencil on the paper, pivoting it on the point, and putting pressure on the pencil.
  • Sizes of circles and curves can be altered by adjusting the angle of the compass.
  • Sometimes a compass has two pointed ends, and can be used as a ruler replacement, as a measurement tool particularly for maps.
  • Compasses are sometimes used as a symbol of accuracy and judgement.
  • It is believed the Greek mathematician, Euclid, from 300 BC, made use of a type of compass, and the Italian mathematician, Galileo, in the late 1500s or early 1600s, designed a compass, and sold them with an accompanying book.
Compass (Drafting), 2013, Wikipedia,

                     Compass Drawings (Book)

Pressure-sensitive Tape

Broken something? Use some pressure-sensitive tape!

  • ‘Pressure-sensitive tape’ is also known as ‘PSA tape’, ‘tape’, ‘sticky tape’, ‘adhesive tape’, and ‘self-stick tape’.
  • Pressure-sensitive tape is an adhesive tape, commonly plastic-backed, that sticks onto surfaces when pressure is applied.
  • Pressure-sensitive adhesive was invented in 1845 by surgeon Dr Horace Day, who applied it to fabric to make a surgical, pressure-sensitive tape.
  • In the 1900s, many pressure-sensitive tapes were invented and sold commercially, using the formula of Dr Day’s, or something similar.
  • There are many versions of pressure-sensitive tape, including clear tapes, decorative backed tapes, paper-backed tapes (masking tape), strong adhesive tapes (duct tape) or thick tapes (Gaffer tape).

Pressure-sensitive tape, Sticky Tape, Clear, PSA Tape, Adhesive Tape, Bundle, Roll, Three, Wide, Ten Random Facts

  • Pressure-sensitive tape can sometimes decrease the recycling efficiency of a recyclable object.
  • Pressure-sensitive tape has many uses, depending on the type of backing and adhesive  is is made from, and uses can include sticking pieces of paper together, and taping down or sealing boxes, and the tape is usually found in most homes and offices, in a tape dispenser.
  • Pressure-sensitive tape generally has four layers, a release coat, backing, primer coat and adhesive under-layer.
  • If left on a surface, particularly paper, for a considerably long length of time, many pressure sensitive tapes become oily, yellow and start to merge into the surface.
  • Pressure-sensitive tape can destroy the value of documents or papers, although it can be professionally removed in layers to protect valuable documents from the aging process of the tape.
Pressure-senstive Tape, 2013, Wikipedia,
Smith M, Jones N, Page S & Dirda M, Pressure-Sensitive Tape and Techniques for its Removal From Paper, 1983, Conservation Online,



Stick, stick, stick, stick, and stick the stickers.

  • Stickers are typically made from paper or thin plastic with one sticky side that is stuck on objects.
  • Stickers have their history in revenue or tax stamps which were used as early as the mid 1700s to collect tax or other fees on certain items, to which they were adhered, and later on in postage stamps.
  • In the United Kingdom in 1840, the first adhesive postage stamps in the world were used, which used a dry sticker formula that was moistened to stick the stamp to the item to be mailed.
  • Early stickers were paper stuck with gum glue, and were also used to make objects, such as crates, more attractive in the late 1800s.
  • The first modern stickers, known as self-adhesive labels, with a peel off backing, were made in 1935 by R Stanton Avery from Oklahoma, United States of America, who founded one of the biggest self-adhesive label companies, the Avery company which changed its name to the Avery Dennison Corporation in 1990.

 Stickers, Mulitple, 3D, Piffuy, Shiny, Flat, Sheets, Glittery, Figures, Plain, Ten Random Facts

  • Children are often given stickers as rewards, and are common sticker users, using them to decorate items, or make sceneries or pictures with them.
  • It is believed that bumper stickers were first made by Forest Gill, who was a printer, to advertise Rocky Mountain’s Rock City attraction.
  • Stickers can be sparkly, smelly (scratch ‘n sniff), 3D, fabric, acrylic or plain.
  • Stickers come in all shapes and sizes; they can be very large or very small, and are used for many different purposes, including labelling for identification purposes or for addressing mail; for marketing including signage and product labels; and hobbies like scrapbooking.
  • Some stickers are laminated to keep their appearance looking good and make them more durable, especially for outdoor purposes.
The History of Stickers, 2013, Sticker Palace, <>
William N, Sticker Printing Facts, 2009, Articles Base, <>



Do you know 58,675,985 x 73,892,619? The calculator can calculate it for you.

  • Calculators are used to calculate numerals and equations, typically in mathematics or business.
  • The first mechanical calculator was invented by Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, when he was 19 in 1642, to help is father calculate mathematic sums.
  • Calculators were originally gear driven wheels, but now they use a chip, typically a microchip, and some kind of energy source.
  • The first handheld calculator was invented by Texas Instruments, an American company, in 1967, and were further developed in the early 1970s.
  • School students are common users of calculators, using them to calculate difficult sums, although some say children are too dependent on the devices.

Calculator, Black, Normal, red, Buttons, solar, Ten Random Facts

  • Calculators are often powered with chemical or battery energy, solar energy or electrical energy.
  • Scientific calculators are devices that are able to deal with more complicated calculations, having more mathematical symbols, and can hold more than one number at a time, compared to the original calculator.
  • Abacuses were early types of calculators, aiding the person who was calculating, but in Western countries, electronic calculators are nearly always used.
  • The display of numbers on a calculator are visible on an LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen, and are shown on the screen when a button is pressed.
  • Types of calculators range from small pocket ones to large heavy duty ones that can print the calculations.
Calculator, 2013,, <>
Calculator, 2013, Wikipedia, <>


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