National Rubber Eraser Day
National Rubber Eraser Day is a holiday observed on April 15th that celebrates a humble but helpful tool for anyone who has ever used a pencil and needed to correct a mistake. Rubber erasers have been around for over 250 years and were the natural successor to what used to be used to remove lead or charcoal marks from paper: bread erasers.
Of course, it would still take another 88 years from the invention of the rubber eraser until they were placed on top of pencils. That innovation would make eraser-tipped pencils the norm for students all over the world. So go out there and celebrate this holiday and erase past mistakes, at least the ones that occur on the page.
The History of the Rubber Eraser
People have used erasers for a long time. Back when there were papyrus or parchment documents written in ink, people would use pumice or sandstone to erase any mistakes that were made. In Japan, between 1868 and 1912, crustless bread was often used by students to erase mistakes on the page. We don’t know why bread was used, however, when the rubber eraser had already been invented in 1770.
Edward Nairne invented the first marketed rubber eraser in 1770 for an inventions competition. Unfortunately, raw rubber doesn’t have a long shelf life, and it wouldn’t be until 1839 that the process of vulcanization was discovered by Charles Goodyear—a process that would make raw rubber a durable and long-lasting product. It’s only after that discovery that rubber erasers would begin to become popular.
Observing National Rubber Eraser Day
National Rubber Eraser Day can be observed by learning more about the history of rubber erasers or by taking the time to buy new rubber erasers. While observing this holiday, people should also be sure to use the hashtag #NationalRubberEraserDay on their social media accounts.