The Unknown and Interesting Historical Facts about Everyday Office Supplies

Ever wondered if simple and petty office supplies have rich history on them? As an office employee, you may have to spend at least eight to nine hours a day at work. The fast-paced life within the office environment could make everybody busy to the point they can no longer pay attention to trivial details, say office supplies and equipment. It is sometimes good and refreshing to learn a thing or two about certain pieces of information and trivial knowledge about the things you could find inside an office setting for you to fully appreciate their function and history per se.

Scissors. That pair of scissors on your office drawer has rich history tracing back to the times of Egyptian civilization. According to historians, the Egyptians may have been the inventors of scissors in 1500 BC. Historical accounts say that earliest scissors were discovered in Mesopotamia about 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. The next time you use your scissors in cutting pieces of paper or that stubborn lose thread on your jacket, better thank the ancient Egyptians.

Pencil. Office work could have been very difficult without the presence of handy pencils. Yes, pens are the more common business and office tool for signing papers, but the role of the pencil may not and should not be overlooked. This writing tool traces back its root to the 16th century, making it the most antiquated writing tool man has ever known. The production of pencils started to boom when graphite deposit was discovered in northern England.

Calculator. Life in offices, most especially in accounting firms, would have been impossible if without calculators. These electronic computing device have made every accountant’s life incredibly easier. Instead of manually calculating for mathematical pr+oblems, calculators can be used to get the accurate answers fast. The earliest versions of calculators were used as early as the 17th century; however, the most successful commercial versions were produced in 1851.

Rubber eraser. The best partner of pencils. Corrections for your misspelled words, wrong indention, or wrong choice of word, are made easy with the use of rubber erasers. These handy writing-correction tools have humble beginnings. Prior to the discovery of rubber as a good erasing agent, people used breadcrumbs or bread crusts as erasers. When an inventor accidentally picked a piece of rubber and used it as eraser, it is when the history of rubber erasers started.

Paper. Offices cannot function without papers. Even if many offices are going paperless, nobody can deny the fact that papers still play a very important role in keeping an office running. Paper is among the office supplies with the richest history. It was invented in China as early as 105 AD during the reign of the Han Dynasty. Eventually, paper reached the west via Samarkand and Baghdad. In Europe, commercially produced papers began to flourish as early as 10th century. Melting pots for early production of papers started in Spain, Sicily, southern France, and Germany.

Picture frames. Those cute picture frames in your office desk holds pictures of memorable moments in your life; they too have rich and memorable history of their own. Photo frames are believed to be invented by Egyptians. The earliest frame ever discovered was the one that holds the fayum mummy portrait, which dates back to second century AD. The said wooden frame may have been used in ancient Egyptian owners’ homes before inclusion within the funerary.

Working on a busy and time-demanding office environment could make you easily forget about the little details about your surroundings. Although learning trivial things about office supplies may not help at all in your work tasks, it could fascinate and make you appreciate the little things.

 

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Garima is the founder of LoveTheTips.com, a UK based blog offering most useful tips on the topics you love to know more about. She enjoys travelling, blogging and spending time with her 6 year old daughter.

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