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World Stationery Day – April 26, 2023

World Stationery Day is an annual event observed every last Wednesday of April and this year it will be held on April 26. We use the day to celebrate all stationery which includes pens, pencils, paper, staplers, erasers, highlighters, markers, postcards, crayons, and adhesive tape. Stationery is used for written correspondence and is an important tool of correspondence. Since prehistoric times, humans have made use of a wide variety of tools and implements to write letters, pass across messages, or preserve information. Today, stationery still plays a major role in our society despite the advancement in technology.

History of World Stationery Day

The word ‘stationery’ is derived from the Medieval Latin word ‘stationarius’, meaning ‘unmoved’ or ‘permanent.’ According to Wikipedia, stationery refers to “commercially manufactured writing materials, including cut paper, envelopes, writing implements, continuous form paper, and other office supplies.” Stationery could also mean special paper used for writing letters. According to several historians, paper was invented by a Chinese eunuch named Tsai Lun around the year 121 A.D. He apparently did this by mixing the inner bark of a mulberry tree with bamboo fibers. Prior to that, ancient records were written on either bamboo, which was quite heavy, or silk, which was costly. Also, ancient Egyptians would fashion papyrus plants into solid, dried sheets.

Pens can also be traced back to ancient times. In 1300 B.C., metal styluses were used to write on wax tablets by the Romans. These iron instruments were shaped like pencils, sharpened to a point at one end, while being flat and circular at the other end. During the same period, Asian scribes made use of bronze styluses. Years later, Egyptians used thick bamboo/calamus reeds. The famed quill pen didn’t make an appearance until the sixth century in Seville, Spain. Made with either swan feathers or goose feathers, the quill pen lasted for centuries and came into use all over the world. The 19th century saw the invention of ballpoint pens, which immediately phased out quill pens.

In the 21st century, pen and paper are becoming less popular due to the advancement of technology. Online learning, with the use of mobile devices, has recently revolutionized the educational system. Texting and email communication have phased out the old art of letter writing. Even personal notes are now shared via mobile applications. Yet in all this, old-fashioned stationery has not completely died out as it still proves useful in the world.

World Stationery Day timeline

121 A.D.
The Invention of Paper

Paper is invented in China by Tsai Lun.

Sixth Century
The Quill is Invented

The quill pen is invented in Seville, Spain.

19th century
The Quill is Replaced

Ballpoint pens replace quill pens.

1943
The Biro Brothers Invent ‘Birome’

The Biro brothers file the first patent for a ballpoint pen called ‘Birome.’

World Stationery Day FAQs

What is inside a pencil?

Pencil lead is usually made of graphite powder mixed with a clay binder, which is then fired in a kiln.

When were pencils invented?

Pencils were first invented during the 1700s.

What are the ingredients in pen ink?

Pen ink is primarily made up of dye or pigment particles, along with other additives such as water, polymers, linseed oil, and so on.

How to Observe World Stationery Day

  1. Use your stationery

    In our world of phones, laptops, and gadgets, writing things down with pen and paper is almost becoming a lost art. Today, be intentional in doing things the traditional way be it making a to-do list or sending someone a nice hand-written note.

  2. Buy more stationery

    Thinking of the perfect present for that friend or family member? Give them something unique by sending them a lovely stationery set.

  3. Use the hashtag

    Not everyone knows that World Stationery Day exists. Make a fun post about it on social media and make use of the hashtag #worldstationeryday to create wider visibility.

5 Interesting Facts About Stationery

  1. Stale bread makes good erasers

    Before erasers were invented in 1770, stale bread was used to clean pencil marks.

  2. Post-it notes were created accidentally

    Post-it notes were created because a scientist invented glue that was too weak for other purposes.

  3. King Louis XIV had customized stapler pins

    In the 18th century, the stapler pins invented for the French King Louis XIV bore his insignia.

  4. Paper is produced in tons

    Every year, over 300 million tons of paper are produced around the world.

  5. Pencils have a lot of mileage!

    The average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long.

Why World Stationery Day is Important

  1. It takes us back to the old days

    This holiday takes us right back to when things were simpler. We’re encouraged to put our devices down for a while and use our stationery instead.

  2. It supports stationery makers

    Ever wonder about the people who make paper, pens, and other materials that are so useful in our daily lives? This day not only shines a spotlight on them but purchasing stationery also keeps the stationery industry afloat.

  3. It aids focus and learning

    According to several studies conducted by scientists, it has been proven that writing with pen and paper aids focus and has positive effects on the cognitive process. This means the simple act of writing things by hand is much more beneficial to us than typing on a keypad.

World Stationery Day dates

YearDateDay
2022April 27Wednesday
2023April 26Wednesday
2024April 24Wednesday
2025April 30Wednesday
2026April 29Wednesday

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