So, I’m reading this great book — An Uncommon History of Common Things by Bethanne Patrick and John Thompson– that’s filled with interesting facts and stories behind the invention of all kinds of items we use today from pizza to football to naming traditions, etc. I originally picked it up thinking it would be great if I needed to look up an unusual fact for a story I’m writing, but I’m now reading it from cover to cover.
Here’s some fascinating facts from the book about the implements we use to write:
1. The first “real” pencils were made in the 1500s in England, although the early Greeks used lead to make guide marks for “writing in ink.”
2. Egyptians wrote with “crude pens” as early as 4000 B.C.
3. Some of the first typewriter models were “the size of a piano.”
4. The first electronic digital computer was built in 1939.
5. Printing press technology had been in existence long before the printing press was developed. Movable type debuted in China in 1045.
Of course these are simple facts. The book explains the history of these objects and many others in more detail and in a way that is quite interesting. So, if you’re a writer or just a lover of facts or history, or need a gift for an inquisitive friend or child, I’d grab a copy of the book. You never know when you’ll need to know the history of Poker or guns or shoes or tattoos, etc.