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Inaccurate fact[edit]

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "the first patent on an integral pencil and eraser was issued in the United States to Joseph Rechendorfer of New York City on March 30, 1858. (1)" Googling the name comes up with very few results, however. Britannica has been wrong before so shouldn't be accepted as definitive on this issue, but further research is definitely needed. Interestingly, most websites that mention Hyman Lipman also put the date he invented the pencil and eraser as March 30, 1858. Very odd.

(1)"Eraser." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 21 Feb. 2004 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 22 February 2004‎

Removed repeated facts[edit]

I removed the following sentence from the history section, since it mostly repeats facts in the intro. It's well written though, so if someone wants to salvage it I only suggest they try to make it "aware" of what's in the intro.

Latex erasers are still known as 'rubbers' in England and Australia, causing occasional amusement to Americans, to whom a 'rubber', due to linguistic drift, is a latex condom.

Mark Foskey 21:43, 28 September 2005 (UTC) (I wasn't logged in when I made the original edit.)

Use for the blue end[edit]

Quick question that I can't seem to find an answer to - f the pink end of an eraser removes pencil marks (as is usual), what is the blue end used for? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robyaw (talkcontribs) 18:46, 17 February 2006‎

I expect that the different colors are merely for looks, and that both ends of the eraser are used for erasing. --Ihope127 13:32, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually most bi-colour rubbers I know of have a soft white end used for rubbing out pencil marks and a hard blue end usually used to erase pen marks 12:50, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
As an amature artist, I know the answer to this one. The purpose of the bi-color eraser is to provide two different textures of eraser. The hard and often gritted end is useful for erasing on heavy weights of paper or dark marks. The soft end is useful for light grades of paper which the hard gritted side would tear apart, and also for precision erasing, such as removing a light stray mark from among dark marks.--Scorpion451 03:22, 1 July 2007 (UTC)


How come they are usually pink? --Colinstu 20:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually I would say they're usually white... 12:50, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't remember having come across a pink one before. They're invariably white in my experience. Liam Markham 00:38, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Well how do they color them then? lol Colinstu 23:22, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I can clear up confusion here. In the US the traditional color for erasers is pink, which is the color of the rubber itself. In many regions, however, such as Europe, it is traditional for the rubber to be bleached before molding, making white. So it is not that they color them pink but that they bleach them white. Similarly in the US the two textured eraser is pink on the soft side and white on the gritted side, while in Europe they are most often white on the soft side and blue on the gritted , which is done with a powdered dye.--Scorpion451 03:22, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Imagining the eraser[edit]

I picked up an eraser from my desk drawer, and began to wonder how such a seemingly simple item could ever be conceived by man. After all, it is not like you see erasers laying around the prairie lands, or dangling from tree branches, and I've never personally seen one swimming around in some river or lake. It's often these complex simplicities that intrigue my imagination. So I began to transport my thoughts to a time before erasers. Human curiosity and desire for information is what led to the invention of writing utensils, this helped to integrate the accumulation of knowledge obtained from individuals and incorporate that into the broader spectrum of wanting minds. Well prior to the invention of erasers, anyone attempting to express themselves in the written form either had to be precise and completely eliminate errors, or cross them out. Then, as if by natural autotrophic correction, a man designed an item that will allow you to make a mistake, and just simply erase it!
After I had finished delighting my imagination with this topic, I decided to see what Wikipedia had to say. Thanks for the info! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Daniel J Rice (talkcontribs) 16:23, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Off-topic sentences[edit]

"Another type of eraser is used specifically for marks on a chalkboard or whiteboard. Rather than being rubbery or gummy like pencil erasers, it is a hand-held wooden or plastic block with a dark felt pad on one side." - Types section.

Does this really fit into this article? It seems to be more about the conventional artist's rubber/eraser. You can't really count a Board cleaner as a rubber/eraser in my opinion. I haven't taken any action since I'm unsure. There's no harm having it there, it just seems out of place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Best washing agent for kneadable erasers[edit]

Is it not so that the kneadable type eraser can be washed fairly to a 'clean as new' status. But what agent is best, e.g which will remove most leaving matrix fully in tact? Cisum.ili.dilm (talk) 00:01, 30 September 2009 (UTC)


The first section of the history seems to say that, prior to the invention of the rubber eraser, rubber was used as an eraser... which seems nonsensical. Incidentally, on the history, I just came across an Isaac Newton notebook from 1659 where he refers to wiping out marks with your "wing." Any guesses what that was referring to? Majolo (talk) 22:06, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

First, for the benefit of other readers, the notebook in question is the 'Pierpoint Notebook' (transcription here - I can't find a facsimile online). However, Google reveals that Newton copied this phrase from The Mysteries of Nature and Art, Book 3, 1634, by John Bate, which says: "you can finde no great fault in it: wipe it over gently with your wing, so that you may perceive the former strokes then with your blacke chalke, or blacke lead plummets; draw it as perfectly, and as curiously as you can" (page image here). I don't claim the credit for discovering this connection - it's mentioned in the WP article. Unfortunately none of that helps find the meaning of wing.
Then I found this Yahoo! Answers page, which says it literally means a wing (i.e. presumably a bird's wing), and this page, which refers to a duck's wing. --Heron (talk) 10:17, 26 March 2014 (UTC)


I was wondering... How come, say a cheap pencil's eraser is hard and practically useless, but then you get a Ticonderoga brand pencil and it erases flawlessly? Perhaps that info should be located somewhere? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:05, 26 January 2009‎

I was wondering exactly the same thing. Why is it that there is only ONE brand of pencil--Dixon Ticonderoga pencils--that has erasers that work? Keraunos (talk) 08:20, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Personally I like Sparco pencils, they have good erasers and quality graphite. The adage "You get what you pay for.", goes a long way toward explaining the poor quality of eraser on many cheaper pencils. Poorly processed vinyl is used in many cheap pencils. High quality vinyl is a good eraser material used in many artists erasers but low quality tends to smear marks rather than erase them.--Scorpion451 rant 17:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

POV notice[edit]

I've added a POV notice to the rubber refills section. This reads nothing like an encyclopedia article, but more like an architect's lament over nothing being done by hand anymore. I'm not deleting it all simply because it looks like there actually is some useful information stuck in there. --Jemiller226 (talk) 14:09, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Canada: Eraser only?[edit]

As of the 6th of May 2014, the article reads:

An eraser (US and Canada) or rubber (India, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand) ...

I'm not arguing the fact that eraser is said in Canada, in recent years it's certainly more common place, but I've lived here well over half my life now, and calling it a "rubber" was once more common than eraser. I admit I'm English by birth, but I worked in an accounting office in Canada for years after immigrating, and in the days of mechanical adding machines and a sharp No. 2 pencil for working things out. I think it's even more telling that more people would have said "Don't rub out a mistake in the leger; cross it through neatly, and put the correction in the margin with your initials"; people seldom said "Don't erase a mistake ... etc." — not in the context of bookkeeping, and that's when there would be a whole pool of bookkeeping clerks in large firms, all tallying up invoices every day, and going through a trial balance at the end of the month. We used a lot of pencils and a lot of rubbers, and nobody thought the word sounded out of place, as it may well sound in the USA. It was just to banal to be thought funny because of the possible double entendre. (No different than the way everyone in Canada says loonie for the Canadian dollar since the dollar coin replace the bill ... nobody laughs or finds that one odd either).

Christian Gregory (talk) 03:45, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

A further note, a friend who is Canadian born & raised, and in his 50s (so younger than I) happened to use the word rubber in the context of the end of a pencil yesterday. When I asked him, he said growing up in rural northern Ontario (outside of Sudbury) that rubber was the common word they used at school at that time. (He grew up bilingual with French, but is English Canadian, and holds a degree from Ottawa U.)

Christian Gregory (talk) 04:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)