Paper has been used for thousands of years, there are stories of the Chinese using it as far back as 105AD and the Egyptian’s have been using it since around 2500BC. The Chinese used plant fibres and the bark of mulberry trees to produce sheets of paper, it is said that the Chinese successfully governed their people as a result of paper. The Egyptians used parchments (dried animal skins) and papyrus (a plant used for its fibres) as a means of documenting their history and controlling production, accounting documentation and for storytelling.
In the 11th Century, paper production was brought to Europe and by the 13th Century, the Spanish had refined the production of paper using waterwheels. By the 19th Century, wood-based papers had come into full production and were the most widely used.
With the production of paper, printing books became easier and the ability to share knowledge, produce technical designs, document history and finances became increasingly popular with scholars, businessmen and writers.
Today we use paper to write down our thoughts, print presentations, create art and spread the news. The use of paper may have begun as a form of knowledge transfer only used by the educated but today we use paper in all aspects of our lives.