Since men discovered fire, writing goes hand in hand with it. Men have conveyed and recorded their thoughts in different forms. To know the history of writing instruments is the history of civilization itself. Through these instruments, men have come to know its past as it battles to be on top of the food chain.
From Its Humble Beginnings
The cave men were the first to have used the writing instruments. They took advantage of every discovery that they stumbled upon and in order to survive. In order to survive they must hunt for food thus the hunting club was created. They discovered that stones and bones can be sharpened which then pave way for the all purpose skinning and killing tool. These sharp tools were then used to scratch pictures of their daily activities to the walls of their caves. These activities were mostly about hunting victory or planting of crops.
The Start of Trading
With time, men learned to be more organized and certain systems were introduced. The designated record-keeper would develop universally accepted symbols that would equal a sentence or an idea. Writing instruments have further evolved with the discovery of clay. The clay was used as a portable recorder since cave walls are just too much to be carried around. This method was further developed as men started to trade goods. For reasons of uniformity and practicality, they further developed it into clay tokens. Just as men created the alphabet, the pictographs from clay tokens were replaced with their own alphabet.
Introduction of Ink
The Greeks were the first known civilization to have adapted the writing instruments from bones, metals or ivory. They recorded it on a tablet coated with wax that comes in pairs so that they will just close it to protect the record. The Chinese on the other hand have perfected the “Indian ink” from donkey skin and musk in a gelatin form mixed with lamp oil and soot from pine smoke. The other cultures followed by using berries, minerals and plants as their natural dye source. Soon paper was just following to be discovered which makes the recording more portable and easier to comprehend.
The Use of Quill Pens
Of all the writing instruments, the quill pen has dominated for the longest period in history. For almost 100 years, men have used the feather of various birds as their writing instruments. Different sources of quills produce different strokes and better quality. Goose feather are the most common while feathers from swan are more expensive because of its scarcity and premium grade. Crow feathers were the best in making fine lines and soon the turkey, owl, hawk and eagle’s feathers were used.
A Uniform Alphabet
The scholars have by now developed a uniform writing method with upper case and lower case that is presently known to contain 26 letters. Since then men have possessed better writing instruments and writing has become a daily occurrence. Men never cease to find better ways in almost anything that affects their daily lives, writing instruments have made huge development from humble sharpened bones to the modern fountain pen.
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