The Reason Why Pencils Have Erasers…

Lucas - Bettendorf, Iowa
Entered on April 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The earliest combination of the pencil to the eraser dates back to the late 1850’ by a man named, Hymen Lipman. He patented his revolutionary idea and sold its rights to another man named, Joseph Reckendorfer for $100,000. Little did he know that the intuitive idea and design would make such a great impact on the future of writing? But I’m not here to tell you the history of the modern-day writing utensil; I am here to explain just why pencils do have erasers. There are two diversions of this thought, the literal, and the metaphorical.

You see, erasers were first put on pencils as a way of removing pencil (graphite) from certain papers. The eraser was an easy way to clear up a mistake, that humans often do, and rewrite it on the same parchment that the mistake was previously written on. Instead of having to start over completely because of small error, you could simply take out your eraser and smoothly rub away your mistake. Simple right? Before the time of erasers, one mistake would ruin the entirety of whatever it was that was being written. But, perhaps the time before erasers taught people to be careful of what they wrote. Maybe not.

Yet there is another whole perspective on which to view the purpose of erasers on pencils: metaphorically. I believe that erasers were put on pencils because of the fact that people make mistakes in LIFE. It is only human to do so. Yet unlike the simple rubber eraser, it is much more complicated than rubbing away mistakes in life. Mistakes in life are much harder to erase, if you will. You have to work hard to resolve and/or fix these “errors.” I like to call these types of fixes, “life erasers” simply because of the metaphor of erasing a humanly mistake from one’s life. But, don’t worry if you run into a life mistake, life is full of ‘em, as long as you learn from them, you can avoid running into similar life mistakes later.

The reason why there are erasers on pencils is to erase the mistakes that people make in writing. Fact: people make mistakes. Fact: people can “erase” these mistakes with kindness, support, and just plain ol’ love. Learn from your mistakes, save the eraser for something else.