Who invented the eraser?

This question came up in one of my classes.

Mistakes are good!
Mistakes are good!

So who invented the eraser?

Before the eraser, wax, or even bread, was used to erase pencil marks.

On April 15th 1770 the famous British scientist Joseph Priestley wrote that a vegetable gum, which he called rubber, was very good for erasing black pencil marks. So it is thought that Priestley discovered that rubber is for good for erasing.

But it is later in 1770 that Edward Nairne, a British engineer, first manufactured and sold the rubber eraser. Therefore Nairne is thought to have invented the eraser.

58 thoughts on “Who invented the eraser?

  1. The dollar wasn’t really invented. This is from Wiki:
    The U.S. dollar was created by the Constitution and defined by the Coinage Act of 1792. It specified a “dollar” to be based in the Spanish milled dollar and of 371 grains and 4 sixteenths part of a grain of pure or 416 grains (27.0 g) of standard silver and an “eagle” to be 247 and 4 eighths of a grain or 270 grains (17 g) of gold (again depending on purity).[36] The choice of the value 371 grains arose from Alexander Hamilton’s decision to base the new American unit on the average weight of a selection of worn Spanish dollars. Hamilton got the treasury to weigh a sample of Spanish dollars and the average weight came out to be 371 grains. A new Spanish dollar was usually about 377 grains in weight, and so the new U.S. dollar was at a slight discount in relation to the Spanish dollar.


  2. pls tell me more ok ill tell you , i have to answer this question can you tell me some websites of it ? this question is “How has Ancient Greek Architecture impacted the modern world?” pls tell me ok even wikepedia doesn’t matter oh yes , the website you showed me before was very good


  3. i’m sorry i’m not talking about this website but patrick ,you seems to have known everything, pls stop not telling me these … pls


  4. thanks patrick in my school we are doing a website called groovy greeks and my aspect of the civilization is architecture , can you tell me more websites ,not wiki cause the teacher doesn’t let us use it pls reply .


  5. hey , patric , is there a website about ancient greek, possibly about their architecture , pls reply soon


  6. i need it so much for homework i am so happy and grateful to have this website!!!!!!! / \ its saposed to be a happy face though – .. –


  7. Out of my own personal curiosity I wanted to know this answer. A lot of sites say different things, but I’ve seen this name more than a few times, and I’ll most likely be searching for this answer again when I forget in a week, lol. Thanks for the info.


  8. thank you so much fr helping me in my science homework. they actually give HW on the first days of school! you had to decide wether discovery is better than inventions or vice versa. i said discovery. he discovered that rubber worked better so he created the invention but without discovery then how would u know what is best for society?


    • Discovery or invention, which is better? Seems a dumb question to me, like which is better, apples or oranges?
      Being a teacher myself I guess the reason behind this question (which has no ‘correct’ answer) is to gauge whether students can write an appropriate argument for or against something, which I believe you did, Kim.


  9. Well, well, you learn something everyday!
    Did you know that in Japanese, “kesu/erase” also means to kill?
    There is famous joke of a gangster in this country who asks a hitman to kill someone.
    He hands a photo of the “contract” to the killer who agrees he will do it immediately.
    The latter then proceeds to take an eraser out of his pocket to erase the picture of his target on the photograph!


  10. Good question. Perhaps we would all be saying “May I borrow your Nairne?”
    My guess at an answer is simply that people in those days tended not to name inventions with their surname.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s