Who Invented Notebook Paper?

Writing on paper has been around since the 1st century CE. According to the records, Cai Lun, a Chinese court official, invented paper for writing around 105 CE. Notebooks were frequently created manually at home in Europe by the 14th and 15th centuries.

Every note-taker had to draw lines across the paper because the sheets were blank. Making and maintaining notebooks was such a crucial information management tool during the Enlightenment that students were often taught how to do it in class.

 In America, William Rittenhouse, a German merchant, founded the first paper mill in 1690. His aim was to supply the rising demand for paper among early American publishers and printers. Note-takers had to make do with paper that was not tailor-made for their use from this and other mills.

Who invented notebook paper first?

 Thomas W. Holley
Thomas W. Holley

American John Tetlow received a patent in 1770 for a device that drew lines on paper to make notebook paper for music notation and other uses. Before this, lines had to be laboriously drawn by hand. Due to this development, people could purchase notebook paper made just for taking notes. Thus, the first notebook paper made with ruled lines came into being.

In the mid-1800s, William Orville Hickok created an “enhanced ruling machine” that could create tables and ruled paper. Other inventors created the modern notebook. These include legal pads, first created in 1888 by 24-year-old paper mill worker Thomas W. Holley from discarded scraps.

When was notebook paper invented?

A device for producing lined paper developed in 1770 is credited as the first invention for writing paper specifically meant for notebooks. Then, in the early 1800s, the blue-lined paper started to appear. The red vertical boundaries were eventually included. 

What is notebook paper made of?

The main component of notebook paper is pulp, which is created by extracting cellulose fibers from various sources. Water is added to the pulp before it is put on a paper-making machine, where it is dried, flattened, and sliced into sheets and rolls. Most paper is made from tree wood, such as birch, eucalyptus, hemlock, spruce, and fir. The best sections of these trees are typically utilized for construction, while the less attractive parts are used for pulp.

Notebook papers may also have recycled fibers, including pre-consumer waste, which is wastepaper from the paper production and printing operations, and post-consumer waste, which is waste paper that has previously been in contact with a consumer.

What size is notebook paper?

notebook paper

Notebook paper often has a different appearance around the world. The most popular paper sizes in the US are 8.5 x 11 inches (letter), 8.5 x 14 inches (legal), and 8.27 x 11.69 inches (A4 size).

A different, far less accurate size of notebook, and thus notebook paper, is the huge notebook, which is frequently larger than 8.5 x 11 inches.

The A5, A6, and A7 are common notebook sizes in the US and elsewhere. Notebooks with these paper sizes are frequently referred to as “notepads” by manufacturers to distinguish them from their bigger versions.


Whereas you can’t carry a laptop or iPad everywhere you go, a notepad or notebook papers have the advantage of being light and inconspicuous. They are a good way of jotting down ideas and thoughts wherever you are. Notebook papers are a great companion for creative minds, as you can not only immediately write what comes to mind but also sketch what would be otherwise difficult to put into words. Notebook papers remain relevant because of these and many other uses.

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