An eraser, also known as a rubber, is a stationary product used for rubbing out markings made with a pencil. They are usually made with synthetic rubber, but can also be made out of other materials. Erasers are available as a standalone piece of stationary or affixed to the non-writing end of a pencil, known as a pencil eraser. Have you ever wondered who invented the eraser? Continue reading to find out.
Who invented the eraser?
People had been finding ways to remove writing for many years, but it wasn’t until 1770 that the first rubber eraser was sold. English optician and scientific instrument maker, Edward Nairne, began selling cubes of rubber for the purpose of erasing pencil markings. Nairne is now credited with the invention of the rubber eraser. The early rubber erasers were perishable and they didn’t become commonly used until after 1839, when Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization to make rubber more durable. The pencil eraser was invented by Hymen L. Lipman in 1858.
Did you know?
Before the invention of the rubber eraser people used breadcrumbs or crusts of bread for this purpose. The inventor of the eraser accidentally picked up a piece of rubber instead of the bread and discovered it could remove pencil markings! Nairne sold his rubber erasers for 3 shillings, which was considered to be a very high price at the time
The patent for the pencil eraser was deemed invalid in court because it was simply a combination of two inventions without any new use.