NATIONAL RUBBER ERASER DAY
It’s okay to make a mistake. Correcting mistakes since 1770, National Rubber Eraser Day on April 15th commemorates the date the invention first began making written errors disappear.
Tablets of rubber (or wax) were used to erase lead or charcoal marks from paper before there were rubber erasers. Another option for the eraser was crustless bread. A Tokyo student said, “Bread erasers were used in place of rubber erasers, and so they would give them to us with no restriction on the amount. So we thought nothing of taking these and eating a firm part to at least slightly satisfy our hunger.”
- April 15, 1770 – Joseph Priestly founded a vegetable gum to remove pencil marks. He dubbed the substance “rubber.”
- 1770 – Edward Nairne developed the first marketed rubber eraser.
- 1839 – Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization (a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material) This method made rubber erasers standard.
- 1858 – Hyman Lipman (Philadelphia, Pa.) patented the pencil with an eraser at the end.
We all make mistakes while holding a pencil in our hand, but thanks to the inventions by these men many years ago, we can erase those mistakes away.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRubberEraserDay
- Erase that mistake.
- Buy a pack of erasers.
- Give some erasers to students, teachers, or co-workers.
- Share your favorite eraser.
- Create a video or take a photo of some of the mistakes you’ve erased.
- Use #NationalRubberEraserDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL RUBBER ERASER DAY HISTORY
April 15, 1770, marks the creation of the rubber eraser. Our research was unable to find the creator of National Rubber Eraser Day.
Q. How large is the world’s largest eraser collection?
A. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest eraser collection contains 19,571 erasers. The collector, Petra Engles of Germany, has been collecting erasers for more than 25 years.
Q. Why are there so many pink erasers?
A. One of the ingredients in erasers is a substance called pumice. The type of pumice used were primarily pink or red. The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company brought the pink eraser to the world when it affixed the signature pink eraser to its pencils. Eventually, the company produced the pink pearl, a rectangular eraser that is still made today.
Q. Are all erasers pink?
A. No. Erasers come in just about every color under the sun.
Q. Do erasers have another purpose besides, well, erasing?
A. They sure do! Have you ever lost the back to your earing? Take a small piece of an eraser and slide it onto the post. Your earing will stay in place at least until you can replace the back.
Other great uses for erasers include:
- Clean scuffs off your favorite pair of shoes
- Remove that sticky price tag
- Carve a custom stamp
- Polish jewelry
Q. When is National Pencil Day?
A. National Pencil Day is March 30th.
April 15th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Chief Menominee dies in Kansas a year after his removal from an Indiana reservation. The chief and religious leader of the Potawatomi tribe on a reservation near Plymouth, Indiana, Menominee, refused to willingly give up lands in 1838 as part of the 1836 Treaty of Yellow River. Indiana Troops forcefully removed the village to land in Kansas, during which 42 members of the tribe died. The removal of the Potawatomi Tribe became known as the Trail of Death.
President Abraham Lincoln dies of his wound to the head. Vice President Andrew Johnson took the oath of office at Kirkwood House from Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase.
Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg. More than 1,500 people lose their lives in the icy seas.
The United States mapmaker, Rand McNally, publishes its first edition of the Rand McNally Auto Chum. It would later be renamed Rand McNally Road Atlas. At the time, the book of maps contained no numbered roads and included no index.
April 15th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Leonardo da Vinci – 1452
The Renaissance polymath is known for his genius in several disciplines. As an inventor, artist, scientist, and mathematician he influenced the generations that followed him. Da Vinci designed human flying machines including a type of helicopter. Some of the world’s most treasured works of art include da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.
Henry James – 1843
“It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.” ~from Henry James’ short novel The Europeans (1878)
The American-born author is known for spinning tales that depicted an early realism in literature. Some of his best-known novels include The Turn of The Screw, Daisy Miller, and The American. On January 1, 1916, James received the Order of Merit for his work in literature from King George V.
Emile Durkheim – 1858
The French philosopher devoted his career to sociology and developed the first academic focus in its study at the University of Bordeaux and later the Sorbonne.
Asa Philip Randolph – 1889
In 1925, the civil rights activist organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. He served as the president of the union, which represented thousands of Pullman Porters and maids employed by the Pullman Company.
Bessie Smith – 1894
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Empress of the Blues topped sales for Columbia. And yet the talented jazz and blues singer made her money performing since Columbia paid her no royalties. Smith was often paired with the greats including Louis Armstrong.
Norma Merrick Sklarek – 1928
In 1954, Norma Merrick Sklarek passed her architect license on the first try. Some of the major projects she worked on include The United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan (1976) and the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1992).