Fact File: Who invented Paper? Invention: Paper *** Country of Origin: Ancient China *** Date of
initial Invention: 105 AD *** Name of original Inventor: Unknown *** Historical Period: Ancient World
*** Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) *** Cai Lun (AD 48 - 121) ***
Fact 1: Who invented Paper? The name of the original inventor of Paper is unknown but it is believed to have been invented
c. 100 BC during the Ancient Chinese era known as the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220
Fact 2: Who invented Paper? During the Han dynasty
significant advances were made in the fields of Science and technology including
the papermaking process.
Fact 3: Who invented Paper? The early invention of paper reached new
heights thanks to Cai Lun (AD 48 - 121) a Chinese court official who
significantly improved the existing form of paper and standardized the
Fact 4: Who invented Paper? The invention
of paper was highly significant to world history when it was used for writing.
Our knowledge of the people ancient world is most often due to the writings of
Fact 5: Who invented Paper? Various ancient civilizations had developed
different forms of writing. In c. 2900 BC the ancient Mesopotamians developed
the first form of writing called "Cuneiform" using wedge shaped marks to make
picture symbols on clay tablets.
Fact 6: Who invented Paper? The Ancient Egyptians used Papyrus c. 3000 BC
as an easily portable substance to write on. Papyrus was made from the pith of
the reedy plant Cyperus papyrus which grew in abundance around the river Nile in
Egypt. The Greeks and Romans adopted papyrus in later centuries. The word
'paper' derives from the name papyrus.
Fact 7: Who invented Paper? Prior to
the invention of paper Chinese writings and inscriptions were generally made on
tablets of bamboo or on pieces of silk called chih. Silk was extremely expensive
and bamboo was heavy and unwieldy. The invention of paper resolved both of these
Fact 8: Who invented Paper? The oldest surviving piece of writing on
paper was found in the ruins of a Han Dynasty watchtower in Inner Mongolia, c.
110 AD .
Fact 9: Who invented Paper? Cai Lun,
the person credited with the invention of Paper, was born in 48 AD in Guiyang
during the Chinese period of history known as the Han Dynasty.
Fact 10: Who invented Paper? Cai Lun
was born into a poor family. He aspired to leave his world of poverty and low
status to become employed in the wealthy surroundings of the Imperial royal
Fact 11: Who invented Paper? The only way he could achieve his ambition
was to gain employment in the Imperial service was to become a eunuch. A eunuch
in the Imperial royal court with close access to the ruler could wield great
power and influence. The employment of eunuchs was a common practice in the
Ancient World as they were seen as trustworthy, loyal servants who were
incapable of having children and would not be tempted to seize power and start
their own dynasty.
Fact 12: Who invented Paper? In 75AD Cai Lun entered service as a court
eunuch under the rule of Emperor Zhang of the Han Dynasty. Cai Lun worked hard
and was rewarded with several promotions that increased his status in the royal
Fact 13: Who invented Paper? The old Emperor Zhang died in 86 AD and was
replaced by the boy Emperor He. In 89AD Cai Lun was given the important and
prestigious position of Shang Fang Si, an office in charge of manufacturing
weapons and instruments in the royal court of Emperor He.
Fact 14: Who invented Paper? In 105 AD Cai Lun improved the process of
making paper. The materials Cai Lun used in his re-invention was from the bark
of Mulberry trees, rags of cloth, remnants of hemp and fishing nets. The paper
making process introduced by Cai Lun involved suspending the sheets of fiber in
water, draining the sheets of the water, and then drying them into a thin matted
Fact 15: Who invented Paper? Cai Lun then standardized the paper-making
process eradicating the costly use of silk and the cumbersome use of bamboo as a
Fact 16: Who invented Paper? The invention of Paper and the new
paper-making process invented by Cai Lun was greeted with great acclaim by the
Emperor and court officials. Cai Lun was granted an aristocratic title and great
wealth for his invention.
Fact 17: Who invented Paper? Cai Lun achieved power and a position of
high status at the Imperial court. Cai Lun served 4 child emperors and was
favored by two empresses. He became involved with court politics and palace
intrigues which led to his downfall.
Fact 18: Who invented Paper? Cai Lun was ordered to report to a prison
for questioning. Believing he would be incarcerated, or worse, Cai Lun
took a bath and dressed in his finest silk robes. He then committed suicide by
Fact 19: Who invented Paper? Cai Lun died in 121 AD but is still
remembered today for his invention of paper and as the father of the modern
paper industry. His invention helped the development of Chinese civilization
through improved education and the greater spread of knowledge.
Fact 20: Who invented Paper? The 'Four
Great Chinese Inventions' in the history of Chinese science and technology
were the invention of paper, printing, gunpowder and the compass.
Fact 21: The Chinese used paper for writing but their invention did not
reach Europe until 1150 when it was first introduced in Spain and slowly spread to other European nations.
Fact 22: The invention of the Printing Press
by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440
further increased the use of paper, and greatly facilitated the advancements
made during the Renaissance Period and beyond. The humble
Paperclip was made readily available in 1899 when
William D. Middlebrook received patent number US 636272 for his "Machine for
making wire paper-clips" and different variations of the
Stapler were invented in the late 1800's..