Pencils were invented in 1795 by a French scientist named Nicolas-Jacques Conte. He used a mixture of graphite, clay and water baked in a kiln to create the "lead" of the pencil. He then housed this mixture in a wooden frame for writing.Continue Reading
Conte created several different kinds of pencils depending on their intended use. He made round pencils for artists who would be drawing for long periods of time and needed comfort. He made square or polygonal pencils for draftsmen or carpenters so that the pencils would not roll away.
Despite the fact that the center of a pencil has long been referred to as "lead," pencils were never made of lead. They have always been composed of graphite. The misnomer came about when graphite was first discovered in the 15th century and mistaken for a form of lead.Learn more about Inventions
Although the exact inventor of the pencil is unknown, Conrad Gesner is often credited with the invention. In 1565, Gesner was the first to document the use of graphite placed in a wooden shaft, which was the predecessor to modern pencils.Full Answer >
When French scientist Antoine Lavoisier discovered that hydrogen was a necessary component in water in 1783, he named the element "hydrogen," derived from the Greek words "hydro" and "genes." Together, these two Greek words mean "water forming."Full Answer >
Carbon was named by French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, and it is named after the Latin word for charcoal, "carbo." Carbon has been known since ancient times, and it is most commonly obtained from coal deposits.Full Answer >
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was an 18th-century French scientist who is perhaps best known for his role in the discovery of oxygen. Born the son of a lawyer in 1743, Lavoisier studied law himself and became a successful lawyer and public servant in the time of Louis XVI. Throughout his life, however, he pursued scientific inquiry as a hobby.Full Answer >