I read recently that Edward Nairne was the inventor of the rubber eraser. Before Nairne accidentally picked up a piece of rubber, bread was an eraser.
Two facts I did not know.
The bread as eraser sent all kinds of scenarios in my head. Made me want to write a Regency novel and use the interesting fact in a story.
It also peeked my curiosity about how we’ve corrected writing mistakes in the past.
I have an 1840s porcelain inkwell that contains a sand shaker. So, at some point in history sand corrected mistakes in writing.
Most often I suspect wadding up the page and starting over was the most common means.
I know, before word processors, I used a ton of paper starting over to get a perfect copy, especially when I wrote with a fountain pen.
I’ve used dry marker erasers for white board writing or a handy Kleenex. I’ve even used fingernail polish when I accidentally used a permanent marker instead of the washable pen.
Back when the typewriter was our professional option, I used correction tape and write out. That was a giant pain lining up the tape and blotting only the incorrect word and not smudging the wrong one.
In drafting, I kept a Pink Pearl nearby along with the shape shields. With those old Leroy Lettering tools, there was no hope of correcting mistakes. You had to start over. Indian ink is very unforgiving.
I used art gum erasers in art classes. I still keep Pink Pearl and art gum erasers handy. Using oils or acrylics, I washed over the canvas with a neutral shade and started again whenever I was unhappy with the results.
Nowadays, I mostly use the delete key or backspace for correcting mistakes. So easy. So fast. So neat and clean.
Sometimes I love technology.
Being the world’s worst typist, I do love my delete key.