History of Literacy

From Cuneiform to Braille to the first computer, this timeline shows how technology developed and where it all started.

1560-09-01 00:00:00

First Graphite Pencil

The first graphite pencil was introduced. The graphite was found in the 1500, when it was found in Borrowdale, however it wasn't until 1565 when the name was formally documented.

1658-09-01 00:00:00

First Children Book Published

The first children's book was called "Obis Pictus" or "Pictured World." The author was Jan Amos Comenius. The really cool part about this is how it was a bilingual text, between Latin and English.

1748-09-01 00:00:00

First U.S. Public Library

Not only was it the first public library, but it was the first architect in America. Peter Harrison designed the Redwood Library in Newport, Rhode Island. The amount of details in the building are amazing, and based on a Palladian-style design.

1755-09-01 00:00:00

First English Dictionary

Samuel Johnson was the first to publish his book called Dictionary of the English Language. It is based on the language we use as a unit or culture, but somehow favored with more elegant and educated words, based on the higher class.

1794-09-01 00:00:00

First Lead Pencil

Even though it is already known that the pencil was invented, this pencil is lead, not graphite. It is still unclear on who was the "inventor" however the French government pushed Nicholas Jacques Conte to patent this new pencil.

1854-09-01 00:00:00

Invention of Braille

At the age of 3, Louis Braille lost his eye sight and from there on, struggled to be in a regular classroom. He was given a scholarship to send him to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris at the age of 10. He needed a better way to read books (the letters were raised on the page, which took a long time to figure out a word). He thought of a six-dot cell in which different dots represented letters, words, punctuation and numbers. He was only 15 years old when he finally finished his invention. However, it wasn't until 1854 when the French government actually recognized and "approved" this method.

1868-09-01 00:00:00

Invention of Typewriter

Christopher Latham Sholes, who was not only a state senator from Wisconsin, but also a newspaperman. He and Samuel Soule and Carlos Glidden were able to make the first typewriter. They did patent not only the machine its self, but also the QWERTY keyboard arrangement.

1901-09-01 00:00:00

First Nobel Prize Winner

The first prize went to a French poet Rene Armand Prudhomme. His first book of his poems were published in 1865. The award winning poem, was his 4,000-line about a Faustian search for knowledge and love, called Le Bonheur. However, the Nobel Committee believes they made a mistake giving his piece the prize.

1976-09-01 00:00:00

Invention of the Word Processor

Michael Shrayer was a active computer genius, who created the Shrayer's Electric Pencil program. It took him a year to make the program, however it allowed individuals to edit, store, create etc.

1984-01-24 00:00:00

First Mac Computer

Around thirty years ago, the first Mac computer was introduced by Steve Jobs. It had a nine-inch screen, and very pricey ($2,500). This computer was very simple, however, it shows how much the Mac started and how it has evolved into now.

2014-09-19 00:00:00

iPhone 6

The new iPhone is out! Not only are we able to look back and see the first computer produced by Mac, but now we can see the hand-held version! We are able to search the web, talk to our friends, and take pictures/videos at a touch of our fingertips. This is extremely important to today's society, because we are very technology depended.

3200 BC-09-01 00:00:00


Cuneiform was the first type of clay writing. It technically wasn't words, but were rather were pictures and symbols. Cuneus in latin means wedge, so adding on, Cuneiform were wedges that created individual symbols and illustrations.

History of Literacy

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