Friday, July 12, 2013

What a SHARP guess! Last week's Mystery Artifact REVEALED!

We had some interesting guesses, including a can opener and a nail clipper. We're not sure if that last guess was entirely serious, but we certainly got a chuckle out of it! The large rotating parts do resemble many appliances we use today, but sadly, it is neither a can opener or a nail clipper.
SO! I will leave you in suspense no more. The mystery artifact is in fact a pencil sharpener!

The pencil sharpener was invented-- or rather, the first patent for a pencil sharpener was applied for-- in 1828 by Bernard Lassimone. But it was in 1847, when Therry des Estwaux improved on Lassimone's design, that the manual pencil sharpener that we know and love today was born. Before the advent of the pencil sharpener, pencils were often whittled by hand with a sharp blade, which was tedious and dangerous (obviously). There are several kinds of pencils today that still require hand sharpening, but luckily most pencils are able to be sharpened to a perfect point by the modern pencil sharpener. 

So bring your pencils and your thinking caps, because this Saturday (7/13) is another installment of the Museum's Schoolhouse Saturdays! From 2:00-4:00 pm.

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