Ts'ai Lun Paper Maker - History of inventions - Lesson 23

Ts'ai Lun was born around 50 AD in China. He is the first paper maker that established paper in China.

The story of Ts'ai Lun is that he started work for the imperial Chinese Government, at a very young age, and he was put in charge of inventing new types of weapons. Ts'ai Lun was so good at his job that he rose quickly in the ranks. Because the emperor especially liked his weapons being the best. 

The current way of writing during his time was on either bamboo slabs or silk. The problem with those is that bamboo is not as easy to store because each slab of bamboo is like one page in a book. The problem with silk is that it was expensive to buy.

Around 105 AD he was inspired to make paper because he saw the paper wasps make their nests with paper. The wasps made paper by chewing wood fibers from logs and mixing it with saliva. With that, they formed their nests.

Ts'ai Lun created paper by mixing tree bark, scraps of cloth, scraps of hemp, and old fishing nets. Then he mixed that with water and mashed it into a pulp. Then he strained out all other the water from the pulp to turn it into paper

Here is the process in a video:



2 responses
So, paper is our weapon! Watch out, so are words.
Keep on writing, Ezra! I find your subjects very interesting!