When was Paper invented? Historians tend to agree that Paper was invented 105 AD and the first known use of Paper was in Ancient China during the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD).

Who invented Paper? The name of a specific person has never been credited with the original invention of paper. However a Chinese court official called Cai Lun (AD 48 - 121) is credited with significantly improving the existing form of paper and standardizing the paper-making process. Cai Lun is therefore generally cited as the inventor.  The invention of Paper is considered a paramount advancement in ancient civilizations.

Definition of Paper: Paper is defined as a thin writing material that is also used for printing, packaging and drawing. Paper is made by pressing moist fibers from wood, grasses or rags into pulp. The word is derived from papyrus.


Facts about who invented Paper?


 Inventions and Inventors Index


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 AD).

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 paper-making process.

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 the ancients.

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 problems. 

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 court.

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 court.

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 sheet.

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 writing material.

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 drinking poison.

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..

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