Ancient Romans And The Roman Era Essay

1785 Words Apr 26th, 2016 8 Pages
Did you know that if a person were to scrawl a single small line with a standard pencil it would stretch for up to 1,178 kilometers (Popova). Before the pencil was invented, the most recently popularly used writing instrument was the quill and ink well. This was impractical because it was too expensive for the unwealthy to buy and wasn’t very portable. Writing instruments have aided in advancing many societies and cultures around the world. Pencils were used as early as the Roman era, but these devices were very crude. Before this, the ancient Romans painted fine outlines and wrote on papyrus with a small brush called a penicillus. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used a small lead disc, known as a plumbum, for a guideline on the papyrus to keep their lines even. Eventually an unknown person had the idea to use thin rods of lead for writing fine lines. This was obviously dubbed the lead pencil. These items were in use during the fourteenth century, mostly by artists. They were used primarily for drawing fine, gray pieces.
No one wrote about pencils because they were such a seemingly unimportant thing. The first written description of a pencil was written in 1565 by Conrad Gesner of Zurich, and interestingly enough, it was written with a pencil. He described it as a lead rod wrapped in a wooden or string casing. At first, graphite sticks were wrapped in string until wood casings came into use.
After enough time and incidents, it was declared that lead was a…

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