The paper came from a factory that got it from a paper mill that made it from logs that were cut from trees that grew in a forest. If you visit a paper mill, you will see men working at large noisy machines that peel bark off the logs and cut the wood into smaller pieces. Other machines press and grind this wood into pieces so tiny that they can be mashed together like potatoes. This gooey stuff is wood pulp.
The pulp then goes into tanks, where it is mixed with water. This mixture flows onto a screen where the water drains off leaving a thin wet sheet of pulp.
Big hot rollers press and dry this wet pulp as it is moved along through the machinery. At the end the dried pulp comes out as giant rolls of paper. Now it’s ready to be made into all the paper things that you use and see every day-newspapers, towels, boxes, and the pages of books like this one.
Pandora was perfect-almost! The gods had given her beauty,charm and gracefulness. But along with these great gift, Pandora was given curiosity. Not just a little curiosity. But enough curiosity so that she had to know everything about everything!
Before Pandora went to live in the world of people, the king of the gods gave her a box and told her never to open it. Never! Pandora try to obey. She stared at the box. She touched it with cool slender fingers. She tried locking it away in a cupboard. But her curiosity was too great. “Just a peek!” she thought.” Just one peek.” She opened the box….
That one peek was one peek too many. Out popped all the bad things of the world-greed-envy,gossip, meanness…and on and on. Pandora did manage to close the box, leaving one thing inside-hope! and-so the story goes-even though people ever afterwards have suffered from the evils that escaped from Pandora’s box, still we have always kept hope-hope that things can become better.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t own at least one book? You probably know a newly born baby and think he doesn’t own a book. But even he may own one because many babies get some kind of book-maybe a book of children’s poems-as a gift just after they’re born. Lots of families own hundreds of books and some own thousands! But 500 years ago very few people owned books. Books cost a lot of money in those days because they had to be copied by hand, letter by letter and took time. Only rich people could afford to buy books and they took very good care of them.
At about this same time a man named Johann Gutenberg worked on an idea for printing book faster. His family was connected with the place where coins were made. At the mint, Gutenberg learned a lot about metals and how to stamp marks and faces on coins. This knowledge came in very handy for the idea that he had. He made small blocks of metal and put one backward letter on each block in such a way that the letter stood up like the figures on a coin.(These blocks with their raised letters are called type.)
Then he put the letters together to make words and lines. When he put ink on these lines of type and then pressed them against a sheet of paper, lines of words were printed on the paper. Gutenberg put many lines together to make a page of type. He built a press to hold the page of type and to press it against a blank sheet of paper. When he pressed the inked page of type against the blank sheet of paper, the whole page was printed all at one time.
When he had printed as many copies of that page as he wanted he took the lines of type apart. Then he used the letters to make up the words and lines of the next page. Because of Johann Gutenberg’s invention, there were soon books about all kinds of things.
Because books now could be printed quickly they became cheaper. Ordinary people could afford to buy them. More people learned to read. And once they could read, they could learned about all the things that other men knew. Today, thanks to Johann Gutenberg, people everywhere-in libraries, schools, homes-reads book. In these books they find the knowledge of the world or the fun and imagination of make believe.