Ink

Black, red, blue and other ink.

  • Ink is typically a liquid or paste that is used to mark an object, typically paper or other writing or drawing surfaces.
  • Ink started being used around 2500 BC, most notably by the Chinese and Egyptians for writing purposes, and they used nearly the same formula.
  • Originally, ink was made from ash or soot, a liquid such as water or oil, and animal gelatin.
  • Ink is typically applied using a quill, brush or most commonly, a pen, however ink is also used in printing, with especially designed inks used for inkjet printers.
  • To prevent blurry edges and so that the ink would adhere to his newly invented printing press, Johannes Gutenberg invented a special oil-based ink in the 1400s.

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  • Ink is often toxic if swallowed, depending on the material and pigments that the ink is made from, causing headaches, skin irritation and damage to one’s nervous system.
  • Inks often use up precious non-renewable oils and heavy metals, which both have a negative impact on the environment.
  • Inks come in different consistencies, such as thick or thin, watery or paste like, in powder or solid form, and in different colours, such as black, yellow, green, red or blue.
  • Inks are normally made from dyes, pigments or chemicals, and always consist of a colourant and a vehicle or binder which holds or suspends the colourant.
  • India Ink was first made in China, although some of the ingredients were usually sourced from India, and usually consisted of lampblack and animal glue and was formed into sticks that were then moistened for use.
Bibliography:
Bellis M, A Brief History of Writing Instruments, 2013, About.com, <http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa100197.htm>
Ink, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ink>
A Short History of Ink, 2013, Stinky Ink, <http://www.stinkyinkshop.co.uk/blog/a-short-history-of-ink/>

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Scissors

Snip Snip, Snip Snip.

  • Scissors are two sharp, metal blades attached to two handles that pivot, and are used to cut thin items such as paper or cardboard, although there are many types of scissors that are designed for special functions, including scissors for textile, medical, grooming, metal, food and agricultural purposes.
  • It is estimated that scissors, in a basic shear like form made from one piece of metal, were invented in 1500 BC in Egypt, and further modifications to the design, allowing a cross cut action, were made by the Romans in 100 AD.
  • The term ‘scissors’ comes from the Latin word ‘cisoria’, meaning ‘cutting instrument’.
  • Originally, scissor blades were made from bronze, and later iron, and are usually now made from stainless steel with plastic handles, although sometimes rubber is added to the plastic to provide better grip.
  • Pivot action scissors were being used by the 6th century, and in 1761, Robert Hinchliffe is said to have started the production of cast metal scissors, similar to our modern day scissors.

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  • Scissors are typically no more than 15 -20 cm (6 – 7.8 inches) in length, as bigger sizes are usually called ‘shears’.
  • The finger holes in the handles of scissors are typically the same size, whereas shears usually have the typical finger hole in one handle, and then have a larger hole in the other to accommodate more fingers which allows for extra cutting strength.
  • Most scissor blades should be sharpened regularly and sometimes oiled, at the pivot point, for smoother cutting.
  • Typical scissors are for right handed people, so special left handed scissors with the blades mirror reversed are manufactured, which makes cutting easier and neater for left handed people.
  • Scissors that have the pivot closer to the end of the blade and further away from the handle increases the cutting strength of the scissors.
Bibliography:
Facts about Scissors and Shears, n.d, Canada Cutlery, <http://www.canadacutlery.com/product/facts_on_scissors.pdf>
Scissors, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scissors>

Glue

Sticky, sticky, sticky.

  • Glue is also known as adhesive and paste.
  • Glue is a semi-solid or liquid that is used to stick two things together.
  • One of the earliest known uses of glue, dating back thousands of years BC, was to stick stone to wood with birch bark tar to create a spear.
  • Glue is so common, that most man-made items use glue.
  • There are many types of glue, including pressure sensitive adhesive; hot glue; and the most popular, drying glue.

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  • Glue is often applied to objects by using brushes, rollers, pellets, spray guns, or applicator guns.
  • Heat and sunlight can sometimes weaken the adhesive properties of glue.
  • It is estimated that on average, each American uses 18.2 kg (40 pounds) of glue each year.
  • Many things have historically been used to created glue, including animal products; and plant material; and in the modern age, chemicals.
  • In 2019, it is estimated that the glue/adhesive market turnover world wide will be approximately US $50 billion.
Bibliography:
Glue 2000, How Products are Made, <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Glue.aspx>

Crayon

Their actually quite old!

  • Crayons are typically coloured sticks of wax used for drawing purposes, although sometimes are made from chalk or charcoal.
  • Crayons are also known as wax crayons, and are usually made from petroleum paraffin wax and colour pigment.
  • Since crayons aren’t messy, toxic, sharp, expensive and are colourful, they are a common media given to children to use for drawing or colouring pictures.
  • Crayons are generally 8.9 cm (3. 5 inches) lengthwise, and often have a paper wrapper wrapped around them to help them break less easily.
  • A W Faber Company, which were making crayons in the 1880s, was one of the first companies to produce wax crayons.

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  • Crayola, the leading brand of crayons in the world, started making crayons in 1903.
  • Crayola has made over 133 different coloured crayons, some retired, and many special edition crayons.
  • Some early French artists like Francois Clouet (1510-1572) and Nicholas L’angreau (1590-1666) used crayons as their medium.
  • There have been over 300 official crayon manufacturing companies, although only a small amount exist now.
  • Standard crayon colours are black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow and green.
Bibliography:
Crayon 9 March 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crayon>

Pencil

Just need a human.

  • A pencil is a utensil that is used for writing or drawing  and includes many types like graphite, charcoal, carbon, coloured, grease and watercolour pencils.
  • Early pencils were a stylus made from a metal rod or lead.
  • In the 1500s, a great marking substance was discovered, and at the time it was thought to be a type of lead, hence the name ‘lead pencil’.   It was graphite, and most pencils have contained graphite ever since.
  • Pencils typically have a cylindrical wooden casing which helps prevent the core (or lead as it is known), generally a mixture of graphite and clay, from breaking and prevents colour transferring to hands.
  • The word ‘pencil’ comes from the Old French ‘pincel’ meaning small paintbrush.

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  • In March 1858, the first design was issued for a pencil with an eraser on the end.
  • In most countries, graphite pencils have a typical coloured outer casing.  In the United States, most are yellow, in Australia they are a red and black combination, and in Germany they are green, blue or black.
  • The largest pencil was finished in September, 2007 and measured 23 meters (76 feet) in length and 8,200 kg  (18,000 pounds) in weight.
  • Pencils come in a variety of shapes and designs, including hexagonal, cylindrical or rectangular shapes, as well as mechanical pencils with a plastic casing and propelling leads, and flexible pencils.
  • Pencils have a hardness (H) and blackness or softness (B) rating system. Adding a number in front of a H or behind a B indicates the rating of hardness or softness.
Bibliography:
Pencil 6 January 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pencil>

Paper Clip

One of the most common inventions!

  • The modern paper clip is a bendable, double oval, metal paper clip.
  • There are many inventors of the paper clip but JohnVaaler of Norway is most notable for his patent in 1899.
  • In 1896, Matthew Schooley invented a bent wire paper clip or holder.
  • The paper clip was invented by several people in different countries around the same period of time.
  • Of all the early inventors, John Vaaler’s paper clip looked most similar to the modern paper clip.

Multiple Paperclips, Metal, Silver, Ten Random Facts

  • Various designs and variations of the modern paper clip were invented from the period 1896-1950s.
  • In 1958, paper clips were surveyed for their uses. Some of the results of the survey included: paper clips were used as toothpicks, fingernail and ear cleaners, fasteners for nylon, bras and blouses, tie clasps, chips and markers in games, chains and childish weapons.
  • During World War II, the Norwegians wore paper clips to protest against the occupation of the Nazi.
  • The largest paper clip was displayed in Oslo, Norway in 1989, and was made from iron, and was 7 metres (22 feet, 11 inches) long and weighed 602 kg (1327 pounds).
  • The modern paper clip is thought to have originated from the company Gem Manufacturing Ltd in England.
Bibliography:
Harrison, I 2004, The Book of Inventions, Cassell Illustrated, Great Britian
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