Inventor of Pencils – Nicolas Jacques Conte

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 - History
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We will not reject the importance of stationery in our lives. Almost everyone needs stationery in their daily life, such as writing or drawing. Especially pencils, we need them almost in every teaching and learning activity.

Especially for the National Examination which is often held every year, it requires us to use 2B pencils. But have you ever been curious about who invented the pencil? He is Nicolas Jacques Conte. This man born on August 4, 1755 lives in Saint-Cénery, Normandy.

He has 5 brothers and is from the descendants of farmers who have managed the same farm for 2000 years. The inventor of Pencils namely Nicolas Jacques Conte was mentioned as the greatest scientist in the era of the 18th century. He found modern pencils that already had advantages over primitive pencils.

History of Pencils and Pencil Discovery Process by Nicolas Jacques Conte

Initially, primitive pencils were created with pure graphite material. With the main ingredient, the pencil will leave marks on the hand and make the writing media dirty. In addition, pencils with pure graphite material are easily broken when used.

Therefore, Nicolas Jacques Conte then mixed pure graphite powder with clay so the pencil would last longer and not break easily. After mixing, he forms the mixture into a thin diameter bar. He also roasted the mixture into a fireplace.

With this mixture, he can create various pencils with various color gradations ranging from gray to deep black. Pencils with more gray colors will have a higher level of hardness because they have more clay content.

Whereas pencils with solid black colors will have a lower level of hardness because they have more graphite content. Mixing and this technique is still used and applied today.

Nicolas Jacques Conte obtained graphite material for making pencils from Borrowdale mines located in England and it was discovered at that time that France was a fairly large importer of graphite from England.

However, in 1794, France suffered an economic crisis so it was unable to import large amounts of graphite. Therefore, Conte got the idea of ​​making pencils with graphite powder so that it would save graphite supplies and still be able to produce pencils.

modern-first-in-the world pencil

Nichola Jacques Conte’s Artificial Pencil

Nicolas Jacques Conte married in 1776 and studied painting with Jean Baptiste Greuze, one of the great painters of the time. After that, with Napolean Bonaparte’s support, he carried out an expedition to develop science into Egypt.

Regarded as the inventor of pencils, Nicolas Jacques Conte has an important role in developing coins, powders, windmills, telescopes, desert transport, ovens, and many other instruments.

Nicholas Jacques Conte died of an aneurysm in his brain. He died on December 5, 1805, when he was 50 years old in France.

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