National Rubber Eraser Day: Already knew? The April 15 to celebrate the US as the national day of the eraser (Engl. National Rubber Eraser Day ). Allegedly as a reminder of the invention of this specially prepared rubber, with which pencil or ink marks can be removed from paper, on April 15, 1770 by the British Edward Nairne (1726 – 1806). The following lines of the calendar of curious holidays from all over the world illuminate what this day of honor is all about for this everyday object from the writing and office accessories category . What is it about?
The eraser and the high adhesive strength of rubber
Let us first approach the topic again from the conceptual side. In other words, what is an eraser anyway? First of all, nothing else than specially processed rubber with which pencil or ink marks can be removed from a carrier medium – usually paper.
These helpers, also known colloquially as erasers or ratze fiddles, are now made either from rubber or plastic. The typical application or function of the eraser is based on the principle of adhesive force.
Specifically: precisely because the rubber of the eraser has a higher adhesive force than paper, for example, it pulls the graphite from the paper during mechanical abrasion (lat. Radere: scratch, scrape). In short, the respective line disappears. And with the mention of rubber, there is already a decisive reference to the current day of the eraser.
Who started National Rubber Eraser Day?
As with so many other bizarre holidays in the United States, National Rubber Eraser Day, unfortunately, seems to have its origins completely in the dark. At least in the course of my research, I couldn’t find out who invented this eraser day and since when exactly it has been celebrated.
Apart from that, it fits perfectly into the series of thematically related entries in the frame calendar of the curious holidays for everyday objects. As an example, reference is made to the following terms:
- like the American Umbrella Day (English National Umbrella Day) on February 10th,
- the day of earmuffs (Engl. National Earmuff Day) on March 13,
- the day of the Bunsen burner (Engl. Bunsen Burner Day) on March 31,
- the day of Teflon (English National Teflon Day) on April 6th,
- the International Day of the safety pin (Engl. International Safety Pin Day) on 10 April and
- Waffle Day, also celebrated in the USA , National Waffle Day on August 24th.
Why does US National Eraser Day fall on April 15th?
On the other hand, there is an indication of why the date of April 15 has been selected for the day of the eraser. This corrective function of rubber was discovered as early as 1770 by the British Edward Nairne (1726 – 1806). Although the optician and instrument maker Nairne was also a very active and creative spirit, the discovery of the high adhesive power of rubber is considered his most important invention. How did that happen?
In Nairne’s lifetime, lumps of bread were originally used to remove lines. Allegedly on April 15 of the same year, the Briton accidentally picked up a piece of rubber and, to his great surprise, was able to find a much better effect when removing lines on paper.
He quickly sold his discovery under the name Rubber for a price of three shillings. Not much, actually, considering how much is being made today from making and selling erasers.
It is also worth mentioning in this context that the popularity of this newly discovered rubber does not go back to Nairne himself, but was made public in the same year by his contemporary, the London chemist and instrument maker Joseph Priestley (1732-1804). This may explain why the Briton is still occasionally listed in some sources as the inventor or discoverer of the eraser.
And for those of you who don’t know what to do with Eraser Day, April 15 is the international day of art ( World Art Day ) or the US-American Gripers Day (English National Griper’s Day) ), the National That Sucks day (dt. mutatis mutandis Everything-is-shit-day ) and the Titanic Memorial day a number of other calendrical alternatives or combinations.
With this in mind: Have a great National Rubber Eraser Day to all of you. Whether in the United States, England or anywhere else in the world. 🙂