Who Invented Tracing Paper

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Who Invented Tracing Paper
Who Invented Tracing Paper

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Tracing paper is a transparent paper widely used in the USSR for copying various drawings, drawings and diagrams. With the spread of computer technology, it has lost its former popularity, nevertheless, this thin paper is still used today.

Who invented tracing paper
Who invented tracing paper

Origin story

The word "tracing paper" is translated from French as "stencil", "copy". According to authoritative sources, the exact name of its inventor is not known for certain. This type of paper appeared in the 17th century in Germany, in connection with the needs of architects, draftsmen, engineers who needed to copy a particular drawing or diagram. There is an assumption that the first modern tracing paper was invented by civil engineers, due to the increasing need to accurately copy complex elements of drawings.

Copying was carried out in the usual way "under a stencil", tracing paper was superimposed on the original, and a contour was outlined along it, showing through under its transparent surface. This method of copying is firmly entrenched in the activities of specialists of various professions and is sometimes used even now.

The very first "tracing paper" medieval craftsmen made as follows: ordinary paper was impregnated with weak alcohol, kerosene or turpentine. So it became more transparent compared to its original state. But this method caused various inconveniences: the paper left stains, it was problematic to draw something on it, etc., therefore, there was a need for the tracing paper that is now known.

In Russia, the first industrial production of tracing paper was established in Peterhof at the first state-owned paper mill in 1816. Over time, the manufacture of tracing paper was mastered by other enterprises.

Qualitative characteristics of paper tracing paper

Modern tracing paper can be made either from bleached sulfate cellulose with the addition of wood pulp and cotton half-mass with an adhesive, or from ready-made glassine. Its main characteristics are density and thickness. To achieve the transparency of the tracing paper, one of two methods is used - calendering (passing through special rotating shafts) or increasing the degree of grinding. The latter method is the most effective, since it adds strength to the paper, but also more costly. It is possible to combine these two methods into one production line.

Types of paper tracing paper in the USSR

Matt tracing paper without a glossy side, intended for drawing and copying with a pencil, was made from uncalendered paper. Tracing paper, which has a glossy side, was produced in two types: ink and lavsan. Ink tracing paper was distinguished by its subtlety and was made on a paper basis. Lavsan tracing paper had a transparent film base on the glossy side.

Pencil tracing paper without gloss, made in the USSR, had such abrasive properties that it was sometimes used as an improvised grinding material for copper, brass, and sometimes even steel and glass. For example, factory calligraphy pens were often used to achieve the desired glide smoothness. Also, with the help of matte tracing paper, the roundings of the outer corners of the pen were polished, which scratched the paper.

Applying tracing paper now

Modern tracing paper is used both for drawing with pencil and ink and for digital printing on plotters, printers and plotters. It is made in accordance with the standards and requirements of GOST. Also, paper tracing paper is sometimes used in the food industry as a cushioning material or in the garment industry in the manufacture of stencils, patterns, etc.

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