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Word Count: 530
It was as early as 1564 that a pencil similar to what we know today was in use That year during the reign of Queen Elizabeth a deposit of graphite black carbon was found in Borrowdale Cumbria It was so solid and uniform that it could be sawn into sheets and cut into thin square sticks Not much chemistry was known in 1564 so the material was called plumbago or something which is like lead The graphite of the Borrowdale mines was the only deposit ever found and had a huge value It was only mined six weeks per year It had to be escorted by armed guards in wagons to London and was illegal to export of the ore The wooden cases were handmade by the English Guild of Pencilmakers who in turn held a world monopoly on the casings No other pure deposits of graphite were found in any other part of the world The few impure mines which were found in the other parts of the world had to be crushed and have the impurities removed Many experiments were made to find a binder to reform the ground ore into usable sticks The problem was prabably first solved by the germans because by the seventeenth century they used a mixture of graphite sulphur and antimony The processes were trade secrets and the German lead sticks soon competed for favour with the English product It was not until 1779 when a chemist named KW Scheele made a analysis of plumbago and proved it to be a form of carbon not of lead still it was not until 1789 when AG Werner suggested to rename the substance to the more appropriate name of graphite from the Greek word to write It wasnt until 1795 that the Geramns process was finally discovered War had cut off
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