Shining History - Medieval Islamic Civilization

World's First Paper Mill

As early as the second century, the Chinese knew the art of paper making. The Muslims learned it from the Chinese in the 8th century, made improvements and developed paper making from an art into an industry.

The world's first first paper mill was thus established in Samarqand in 751. The papermill was water-powered and linen or flax was used as raw material. Trip Hammers, powered by water wheels, were used to pound the raw materials. Soon after the establishment of the papermill in Samarqand, many more paper mills were established in Baghdad during the 8th century due to the high demand of books . From there, paper mills began being established in other parts of the world. Europe had its first paper mill established in Italy in 1261. Paper thus started replacing the costly parchment, papyrus and wood that were earlier being used for writing.

Fig 1: Five Steps in Ancient Chinese Paper Making

26 comments:

  1. Sashindoubutsu said...

    Very interesting. Especially when you find out how different types are made from different materials that suit for the purpose of each paper made.^^

  2. Meam Wye said...

    Thanks for you feedback :)

  3. Jennifer said...

    I've always wondered about this, especially ever since I made my own paper and ink for a science project in grade school. Very interesting!

  4. Sorcerer said...

    very informative blog.
    loved reading it

  5. artbytomas said...

    It was worthy reading indeed. Your post greatly expanded my horizon. Thank you.
    The renewed knowledge awaken the wonder at the way our life goes and thus refreshed my awe.
    While reading your post I was informed about the history of paper making - about the development of the paper making from an art into an industry. That's so symbolical. The above transformation explains the current mess: forests are dying for the sake of ... waste-paper? If bodily needs overcome the spiritual values (when market rules start conduct the art that glorified the eternal values once upon a time) what can be expected to come?

    Lots of thoughts arised while reading. Thus far ages knocked on the heart - your post reminded the responsobility for the choice we need to make. And did that in plain English. Thank you.

    Thank you for thoughtful comment on my blog too. I hope our meeting will grow into the fruitful fellowship indeed.
    Till meeting.

  6. Meam Wye said...

    Thank you so much Jennifer and Sorcerer for stopping by and sharing your views.

  7. Meam Wye said...

    Thank you very much Thomas for your very insightful and detailed comment. I appreciate it a lot.

    Looking forward to further communication :)

  8. Frank said...

    I find it interesting how the Muslims learned this practice from the Chinese. Honestly, I am still shocked to learn how many things we take for granted and use today are developed in other countries and not the United States.

  9. Dorothy said...

    You never know where the average everyday things originate from so very interesting.

    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  10. Hicham Maged said...

    Meam Wye, In the digital world we are living in, it is always interesting to read about papers and our history to understand where are we now, better.

    I am glad to find this blog and shall keep on following it :)

  11. Meam Wye said...

    @Frank: History indeed is interesting and broadens our perspective towards life. Thanks for your regular contributions.

  12. Meam Wye said...

    @Dorothy: Thank you for sharing your views.

  13. Meam Wye said...

    @Hicham: I'm glad to know that you find this blog worth while enough to follow. Thanks.

  14. Mee mOe said...

    I enjoy reading about history, I never enjoyed it as a child, but as I am older, I have enjoyed it..interesting topics and thanks for dropping by...

  15. Meam Wye said...

    I guess the subjects that we enjoyed or not as a child has a lot to do with how it is being taught. Thanks for your feedback.

  16. Nathan said...

    The first paper mill was in 751! Wow, I had no idea that paper making was such an ancient practice. Thanks for helping me learn something new today!

  17. Meam Wye said...

    I am also amazed every I read something new in this area! Thanks for joining me in my walk around the history cosmos :)

  18. Aulawi Ahmad said...

    Your article was very very beneficial, very good to add the reference...:)

  19. baili said...

    hello ,thanks for your precious comment and advice ,you are right developing any skill will really help my professional profile, i'll try to learn some particular skills once i will get time to them ,but now i have to be always there for my children.i am there tutor , playing partner , friend .thanks a lot.

  20. Meam Wye said...

    @Aulawi: Thank you for stopping-by.

  21. Meam Wye said...

    @bali: In my opinion, all caring fathers and mothers who spend time in making their kids a good human being are, in fact, polymath - they excel in so many diverse areas and make great contributions towards the betterment of any society. Enjoy your motherhood :)

  22. Socrates said...

    Thank you for educating us and sharing this wonderful history. I consider this blog an invaluable resource.

  23. Meam Wye said...

    Thank you for your encouraging words .... this keeps me going :)

  24. "BUTTERY"fly said...

    As I read this post, it really reminds me of the time when my sister and I did a paper mache.

    It's really nice to learn about the history of paper making.

    Very informative posts! Keep them coming.

    XO

  25. ohmomablog said...

    Your blogs are always so interesting. Thank you

  26. Meam Wye said...

    @butterfly
    @ohmomablog

    Glad to know that find the posts interesting :) Thank you for stopping-by and sharing your thoughts.

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