Dec 5, 2018

Our Fascination with Paper: 20 Interesting Facts

If we will look at historical evidence, paper is 2,000 years old. Paper has always been present in our lives and will never go away. As long there is a need for it even in this digital world, our love affair with paper will not cease.

Below are some interesting trivia about the fascinating world of paper. You’ll be amazed by some of these facts.

1: The word “paper” was derived from the Egyptian term “papyrus.” The ancient paper was made by weaving the stems of the papyrus plant.

2: Paper was invented by an official of the Han Dynasty royal court, Ts’ai Lun, in A.D. 105. It was made from recycled materials: hemp, rags, fishing net, and grass.

3: The skins of 300 sheep were used to create the parchment paper where Johannes Gutenberg printed his first version of the Bible in 1456. The German invention of the printing press was also credited to him.

4: A single pine tree can produce about 805 pounds of paper.

5: The traditional theme used for the first wedding anniversary is paper.

6: The first paper mill in the US was founded by William Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1690. They recycled rags to manufacture paper and in the mid-1700s, the so-called “rag wars” happened. These conflicts were due to high paper demand and shortage of rag supplies for paper manufacturing.

7: The US paper dollar is made up of 75% cotton and 25% linen. This is why the paper bill does not disintegrate when accidentally washed.

8:17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water are saved for every ton (2,000 pounds) of recycled paper.

9: In 2018, the top three countries producing pulp and paper by volume are China, US, and Japan.

10: In Europe, the common size of paper is based on the A-series while in the US, they never used this measurement and instead, adopted the letter-sized series.

11: Watermarks on paper were first used in Fabriano, Italy during the 13th century.

12: The machine used to produce paper pulp from plant fibers is called a Hollander beater.

13: The first commercial toilet paper was invented by American Joseph Gayetty in 1857.

14: The newspaper is considered a lower grade of paper since it has been recycled numerous times and grade of paper is based on fiber length.

15: The most well-known Origami product is the folded paper crane. Its popularity is based on a Japanese tradition as a symbol for good health and long life.

16: The art of decorating with paper cutouts is called decoupage.

17: The Guinness World Record holder in terms of the largest hand-made paper constructed was by students of Colegio Salesiano Don Bosco de Ypacarai in Paraguay on August 7, 2015.

18: The paper circles created when holes are punched on paper are called chad.

19: Stiff paper must be more than 0.006 inches in thickness to be considered as cardboard.

20: World production of paper and paperboard is estimated to be 490 million tonnes by year 2020. This forecast was made by UK-based, PG Paper.

These random facts may seem trivial but it just shows how important paper is regardless of the historic timeline it belongs. Its use is easy and reliable although having said this, utilization should never be abused. As a sustainable resource and based on the interesting facts presented, paper is not totally averse to the environment.