The original inventor of the mechanical pencil is up for debate. There are documented references to a lead-holding pencil as early as 1565, and the earliest known version of what is now considered the modern mechanical pencil was found in 1791. There are also many patents for different versions.
The first patent recorded for a mechanical pencil was filed in England in 1822. Sampson Mordon and Gabriel Riddle invented what was essentially a refillable lead holder. In 1860, German inventor A.W. Faber created a holder that was more hollow than the original and able to fit longer pieces of lead. He then created a twist locking-clutch mechanism a year later. In 1906, Croatian inventor Slavoljub Eduard Pankala registered a patent for what he called an automatic pencil, and in 1915, two different men registered patents in two different countries. The first was Tokuji Hayakawa in Japan, who had created a screw-based mechanism and a metal shaft. The second, American inventor Charles Keeran, developed a ratchet-based mechanism to feed the lead through the pencil. The gradual developments and improvements, which took place over nearly 100 years, contributed to what is now the modern mechanical pencil.Learn More
The pencil was first invented in Borrowdale, England, in the mid-1500s. Early pencils were not encased in wood, but were actually fragile rods of graphite that had to be strengthened by a string casing. Craftsmen eventually began to fashion hand-carved wooden cases to hold the graphite.Full Answer >
It is believed that the first mechanical clock was invented in 723 or 725 A.D. by Chinese mathematician and monk Yi Xing, also spelled I Hsing. Rudimentary clocks existed prior to that in Europe, but they did not have the escapement mechanism that is characteristic of mechanical clocks.Full Answer >
According to About.com, no one knows the original inventor of the skateboard. Skateboarding gained prominence in California around the 1950s, and it appears that several people came up with the idea of skateboarding at around the same time.Full Answer >
The first mechanical computer was the Difference Engine built in 1822 by Charles Babbage, considered as the "father of the computer." Between 1847 and 1849, he made an improved version of his first model, which he called Difference Engine No. 2. However, the machine was not transformed into a full-scale functional device due to lack of funding.Full Answer >