The Young Chronicle: For 2nd Graders October 15th, 2015 - Page 2
Feature Story: The History of Erasers
Yes, we are talking of that little white thing in your pencil box, which helps you correct mistakes. Aren’t we all grateful to that person who discovered that rubber had
a property to erase pencil markings? Here is the history of the discovery of this
wonderful little thing.
An eraser is a stationary item used to remove writing from paper. Initially, erasers
were made for pencil markings and to remove lead or charcoal marks from paper.
In 1770, Edward Nairne, an English Engineer, developed the first rubber eraser, in
order to participate in an invention competition. After the successful participation
in the event, he sold the rubber at a high price. According to Nairne, he had unconsciously picked up a piece of rubber instead of breadcrumbs and discovered
the unique attribute of a rubber and its erasing properties. Hence, the selling of
erasers began in the market.
Since, raw rubber was a perishable item, Charles Goodyear, in 1839 discovered
the process of vulcanization. By this method, rubber erasers became durable and
Erasers containing the rubber material are available in various shapes, sizes and
colors. They are also attached at one end (the top) of the pencil. Erasers are also
available in forms of artist’s gum eraser, vinyl eraser, kneaded eraser, poster putty,
electric eraser, fiberglass erasers etc.
The prices of the erasers differ as the less expensive ones are made from synthetic
rubber, while the expensive and specialized rubbers contain plastic, vinyl or gumlike material.