We use paper every day and hardly ever think about it. It?s the sort of thing everyone takes for granted; yet if we didn?t have paper, we would immediately feel its lack. Whether you?re buying bulk engineering paper or just a cute notepad here and there, here are some weird facts about the stuff that might just make you appreciate it even more!
- Both The Chinese And The Egyptians Were Early Paper Developers
This is the kind of discussion that gets heated easily, but credit for being the “first” all depends on how you define paper. Paper as we would recognize it today was first used by the Chinese around 105 AD, so credit there. But the Egyptians were using a plant-based, flat material to write on as far back as the third millennium BC. That certainly counts as the idea of paper!
- We Can?t Save the Forests By Using Less Paper
You?ve probably heard the myth that if we would just use less paper, we?d be able to save the forests of the world. But actually, paper production is only about 11% of the world?s total wood usage. The vast majority is wood is used for energy, and after that by sawmills. This doesn’t mean we should go around wasting paper, of course; but using a bit less isn’t going to make much of a dent.
In fact, the paper and other wood consuming industries actually end up contributing more wood than they take away, as they plant new trees in place of those that are used. No sensible paper company wants to use up the world?s trees at all: as soon as they do, their business is gone! Rapid deforestation is taking place largely in the southern hemisphere, and is largely the result of unsustainable farming methods and mass urbanization.
- There Are More Types of Paper Than You Ever Dreamed
There is bond paper, which comes in bond paper rolls, bulk engineering paper, inkjet plotter paper rolls, plotter vinyl rolls, commercial printing paper, drawing paper: the list goes on and on and on. There may be as many as 10,000 different types of paper.
Just take graph paper for an example. Graph paper is the type printed with lines that make a regular grid. These are often used for mathematics and engineering, to plot grids. Bulk engineering paper is just one type of dozens, printed on light green or tan colored paper. The color of the paper means that someone can use it to draw a plot, but in a photocopy the grid lines don?t show up.
- Toilet Paper Was First Made In China
The first mention of paper for this use come from the sixth century AD. The Ming Emperor Hong Wu, however, was the one who really popularized it some centuries later. He was particularly concerned with the cleanliness of the royal posterior and ordered 15,000 sheets, 60cm by 90cm each, all made soft and specially perfumed.
- The World Record for Paper Airplane Flight Is 69.14m
It was John Collins, an aircraft designer and origami expert, who designed the plane, and John Ayoob, a former quarterback, who flew it. They did it in 2012 at McClellan Air Force Base near Sacramento, California. It took a lot more effort than you might think. Having the right balance of arm angle, enough strength, and the perfect design were crucial to achieving that record-setting flight time.
Whether you need bulk engineering paper or just plane paper for making your own airplane, now you know a lot more about paper than you did a few minutes ago!