Info Articles > Categories > History > What materials were used for writing, before the invention of Paper

What materials were used for writing, before the invention of Paper


Various were the materials on which mankind in different ages and countries contrived to write: stones, bricks, the leaves of herbs and trees, and their rinds or barks; tablets of wood, wax, and ivory; plates of lead, silk, linen rolls. At length the Egyptian paper made of the papyrus, was invented; then parchment; and lastly, paper manufactured of cotton or linen rags.

The Papyrus is a large rush, chiefly growing in Egypt, on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians made sails, ropes, mats, blankets, and canvas, of the stalks and fibres of the papyrus. Their priests also wore shoes made of it; and even sugar was extracted from this plant.

There are few sorts of plants which have not at some time been used for paper and books. In Ceylon, for instance, the leaves of the talipot; in India, the leaves of the palm (with which they commonly covered their houses,) were used for books. In the East Indies, the leaves of the plantain tree, dried in the sun, were used for the same purpose. In China, paper is made of the inner bark of the mulberry, the bamboo, the elm, the cotton, and other trees.