Professor Gerarda Costello
February 19, 2013
It was very hard for me to pick a Chinese invention to do a research paper on. There are so many amazing inventions that the Chinese have given our world. So I decided to pick a few inventions that this world wouldn’t be able to live without.
Invention of Paper
The Chinese invented paper during the Han Dynasty. Originally the Chinese used paper made from hemp and plant fibers. It was heavy, spongy and they could even make clothes out of it. The man that was responsible for the invention of writing paper was Cai Lun. Cai Lun was born in Guiyang during the Eastern Han Dynasty. After serving as a court eunuch from AD 75, he was given several promotions under the rule of Emperor He of Han. He presented the emperor with a smooth light wait paper made from a mulberry tree. From there a new lighter-weight paper was made. Soon, Chinese paper makers were making paper from bamboo fibers, tree bark, rags, old fishnets, hemp, and other plants. The Chinese boiled this mixture for over a month. The Chinese then pounded the fibers and strained out the water, leaving a smooth, thin layer. Then the product would dry into paper, which they could write on. Paper was very inexpensive and easy to make. It was also very popular. Cai Lun became a very rich man over inventing this process. Paper is so important to this world. This in my opinion is one of the greatest inventions of the Chinese.
Invention of Printing with Woodblocks
If you had to print the same text over and over one-hundred times it would be too much! For hundreds of years, the Chinese printed pages of text from wood blocks. For each page of text, a separate block of wood was carved, inked, and printed on a sheet of paper. While faster than writing each page by hand the process was time consuming. Woodblocks are used not only for text, but also patterns. It was used widely throughout East...