Who invented the eraser?

This question came up in one of my classes.

Mistakes are good!
Mistakes are good!

So who invented the eraser?

Before the eraser, wax, or even bread, was used to erase pencil marks.

On April 15th 1770 the famous British scientist Joseph Priestley wrote that a vegetable gum, which he called rubber, was very good for erasing black pencil marks. So it is thought that Priestley discovered that rubber is for good for erasing.

But it is later in 1770 that Edward Nairne, a British engineer, first manufactured and sold the rubber eraser. Therefore Nairne is thought to have invented the eraser.

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53 thoughts on “Who invented the eraser?”

  1. pls tell me more ok ill tell you , i have to answer this question can you tell me some websites of it ? this question is “How has Ancient Greek Architecture impacted the modern world?” pls tell me ok even wikepedia doesn’t matter oh yes , the website you showed me before was very good

  2. i’m sorry i’m not talking about this website but patrick ,you seems to have known everything, pls stop not telling me these … pls

  3. thanks patrick in my school we are doing a website called groovy greeks and my aspect of the civilization is architecture , can you tell me more websites ,not wiki cause the teacher doesn’t let us use it pls reply .

  4. hey , patric , is there a website about ancient greek, possibly about their architecture , pls reply soon

  5. i need it so much for homework i am so happy and grateful to have this website!!!!!!! / \ its saposed to be a happy face though – .. -
    —————

  6. Out of my own personal curiosity I wanted to know this answer. A lot of sites say different things, but I’ve seen this name more than a few times, and I’ll most likely be searching for this answer again when I forget in a week, lol. Thanks for the info.

  7. thank you so much fr helping me in my science homework. they actually give HW on the first days of school! you had to decide wether discovery is better than inventions or vice versa. i said discovery. he discovered that rubber worked better so he created the invention but without discovery then how would u know what is best for society?

    1. Discovery or invention, which is better? Seems a dumb question to me, like which is better, apples or oranges?
      Being a teacher myself I guess the reason behind this question (which has no ‘correct’ answer) is to gauge whether students can write an appropriate argument for or against something, which I believe you did, Kim.

  8. Well, well, you learn something everyday!
    Did you know that in Japanese, “kesu/erase” also means to kill?
    There is famous joke of a gangster in this country who asks a hitman to kill someone.
    He hands a photo of the “contract” to the killer who agrees he will do it immediately.
    The latter then proceeds to take an eraser out of his pocket to erase the picture of his target on the photograph!

  9. Good question. Perhaps we would all be saying “May I borrow your Nairne?”
    My guess at an answer is simply that people in those days tended not to name inventions with their surname.

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