March 30, 2012 - Invention of the Pencil-Eraser

 – 1858

Such a simple idea, but someone had to come up with it! An eraser, ready-to-use, attached to a pencil! Brilliant!

The man who came up with this idea was named Hyman Lipman (notice the rhyming name!). He was born to English parents on the island of Jamaica, and he emigrated with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at age 15. He lived in “Philly” the rest of his life, and there he started the first envelope company in the U.S. Lipman sold his patent for the eraser-topped pencil for $100,000. Back then, that was a whole lot of money!

Did you know...?
  • The metal band that holds the eraser onto the pencil is called a ferrule. The ferrule is glued onto the pencil, and a plunger presses an eraser plug into the ferrule
  • Before a pencil's eraser is cut into a short plug, it is part of a long cylinder of rubber.

Check out this video, which shows how pencils are made. I found this really fun to watch!

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