The Guide to Stationery

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The Guide to Stationery: History
by Bethsaida Romelus

Stationery means any writing materials used in the act of writing. These materials include paper, office supplies, greeting cards, envelopes, brochures, pencil cases and more.

The History of Stationery
Stationery has been used as a way of communication for centuries. The Egyptians used parchment, material made out of animal skin, to spread information and document events. The wealthy were the ones that could afford these materials. However, parchment was not a reliable material to write on and was easily breakable. 

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Egyptians soon created new technology and techniques to create more reliable and robust stationery. They used a plant called, papyrus, to create new material. Minuteman Press explains the process, "It was made by stem strips put together in single lines, layer after layer and crosswise. After being moistened and hammered into a solid sheet, they were left to dry for several days. This new form of stationery held up better under humid conditions and did not mold or rot."(p. 1) It was used throughout Europe for almost 200 years but it was expensive. Some people believe that the word "paper" comes from the word "papyrus". Papyrus still exists and is now used for flower arrangements.

Paper and China
Ts'ai Lun, a Chinese man, is credited for creating a paper printing process that was used around the globe for centuries. He combined mulberry tress and bamboo fibers, than mixed them with water, and pounded on them. It was great writing surfaces for paper. His process got better when bamboo was replaced with linen fibers. 
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In the 12th Century, a German man named Johannes Gutenberg redefined the printing process. He removed the work used by hand and replaced it with machines. So printing paper was easy. The first materials printed in mass copy was the Bible.

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