The National Rubber Eraser Day is observed every year on April 15.  On this day, the whole world marks the invention of erasers. The eraser or rubber is a stationery item that allows you to remove or erase charcoal or lead marks made by pencils.

On April 15, 1770, Joseph Priestley, an 18th-century theologian, chemist and clergyman described a vegetable gum that could remove pencil marks. He said, “I have seen a substance excellently adapted to the purpose of wiping from paper the mark of black lead pencil.” He christened the material “rubber”. In the same year, an English optician and instrument maker called Edward Nairne went on to develop the first marketed rubber eraser. In 1839, the process of vulcanization was discovered by Charles Goodyear. This process involved a method that cured rubber and made it highly durable. In the year 1858, Hymen L. Lipman patented the pencil with an eraser at the end.

Teachings of the Eraser

Image Courtesy: Royalty free Google images.

Initially, rubber or wax tablets were used to erase lead marks from paper. This was before there were rubber erasers.  The alternative to the eraser was quite unusual – de-crusted and moistened bread.

Though it’s a small wad made of rubber, the eraser teaches us many lessons.

  1. It allows us to correct our mistakes by giving us second chances.
  2. It gives us the power to change, edit, edit again and present our best work. The eraser is adaptable and teaches us to be like it.
  3. The eraser lets go of the past and permits us to be forward-focused.