It happened nearly 3000 years ago when the first paper-like substance was invented. And today you can’t imagine life without paper. We are so accustomed to paper that we don’t even realize its importance.
Paper has its origin in the word papyrus – the plant that grew abundantly in Egypt. This plant was used to produce a thick, paper-like material used by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
The birth of paper as we know it occurred in the Chinese Han Dynasty in AD 105.
Ts’ai Lun – an official of the court invented the papermaking process that used textile waste as raw material.
Chinese papermaking techniques are now popular across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Eventually, the knowledge spreads to Central Asia, Tibet and India. Finally, the Arab world expands eastwards and embraces the papermaking technology as well.
The technique of papermaking reached Europe.
Italian papermakers innovated and enhanced the papermaking process.
The advantages of mill-based papermaking spread through Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. By the end of the 16th century, there were 190 mills in Germany.
Saxon Friedrich Gottlob Keller invented a wood the grinding machine in 1843 that produced groundwood pulp suitable for papermaking.
J N L Robert invented the first papermaking machine in 1798 which was a roaring success. Soon other machines made their appearance on the market.
19th and 20th Centuries:
Paper production becomes automated
Paper becomes properly industrialized with large scale plants.
Specialized machines are introduced to meet the sophisticated demands of consumers.
Some of the greatest paper inventions are made that lead the way for unique production techniques and a wider variety of products.
New applications and end-users are being explored.
Now the paper is enameled, creped, waterproofed, waxed, glazed, sensitized, bent….there is no end to innovation and application for future users.