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However, prior to the discovery of the paper making technology, writing and reading was a very cumbersome process that involved scribbling on wooden tablets, woven papyrus reeds, and other expensive materials1. As such, writing was only left for a few individuals in the community who could afford accessing the expensive writing materials as well as getting adequate space to store the written materials.
The invention of papermaking technology is one of the four major inventions that can be traced back to China, alongside gunpowder, compass, and the printing technique. According to Ancient records, the invention of the papermaking technology is accredited to Cai Lun (also Tsa’i Lun), an official working in the Imperial Court during the Han Dynasty2.Reportedly, Cai Lun came up with this invention in the year 105 AD. However, recent archaeological studies have unearthed sufficient evidence pointing to the fact that paper was already being used in China several years before Cai Lun’s reported invention. Nevertheless, the role of Cai Lun in the history of paper making is still relevant in the paper industry. This is because he was the first to popularize the technology by putting together a recipe for the whole process and reporting it to the Emperor3. Cai Lun’s technology quickly became popular in China because it was cheap, reliable, used readily available resources, and was easier to make4. The main raw materials for Cai Lun’s paper technology included fishnets, fibres, old rags, mulberry, and hemp waste.
The main focus of this paper is to explore the history behind paper making and how it extended from China to the rest of the globe, and how this invention has influenced the world today. Essentially, Cai Lun’s paper making discovery helped to lay the foundation of the technology used in huge paper factories in Europe, America, and other parts of the world today.
Cai Lun is
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