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The origins of writing

October 15, 2021 2 min read

The origins of writing

What is writing?

Writing could be simplified as a graphic, human way of transmitting and preserving information. Writing is a ritual, it implies specific knowledge, so writing operates as a secret key. Nowadays the knowledge to understand this code is usually taught from a young age, and it creates a connection between human beings.

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Perfect Pencil Graf von Faber-Castell Magnum

ORIGINS

The first signs of writing had no link to spoken writing and were known as "proto-writing". It manifested itself as visual representations with drawings or symbols. However today we will talk about writing as it is known today, which began with the idea of documenting history.

It is considered that the first alphabet appeared in Egypt around 2000 B.C. as an adaptation of hieroglyphics and included only consonants. The first alphabetic writing was around 1850 BC in Sinai. Egyptian symbols were given a phonetic value, and this technique spread rapidly. Today most alphabets descend from the Phoenician.

The two most important alphabets in terms of writing that descended from it are Aramaic and Greek. The modern alphabets of Europe derive directly from the Greek.

Caran d'ache

Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron Ballpoint pen

WRITING TOOLS

The tools required to be able to write were developed by the hand of the societies that used them. At the beginning, writing was done on clay tablets, then wood, skins, and mainly papyrus were used. Papyrus is a paper made from plants, and was an invention of the Egyptians. Papyrus was revolutionary in terms of portability and ease of use, however the most important revolution was the invention of cellulose paper, which allowed the creation of the first durable books.

Montblanc Muses Edition Elizabeth Taylor

Montblanc Muses Edition Elizabeth Taylor Fountain pen

At the same time, as the paper type changed, useful tools were developed to facilitate the writing itself. The first portable writing tool as such was the feather quill pen that was dipped in ink. Interesting fact, In the western hemisphere, the hard section was used for writing, whereas eastern cultures used the soft point for their calligraphy. Graphite changed the portability and ease of writing, opening the doors of the writing world to a broader spectrum of society. Today a variety of pencils with very original designs exist. Afterwards the ballpoint pen was invented allowing ink to be poured in a delicate manner, and of course the fountain pen. The first record of the fountain pen was in the 10th century, but the first fountain pen with a replaceable cartridge was in May 1827. The fountain pen was intended to approximate the delicacy of writing with a quill and the ease and portability of a ballpoint pen or pencil.

Today there are innumerable variety of fountain pens, with original designs and adaptable to all tastes.




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