This Day in History (14-Jun-1834) – Sandpaper patented by Isaac Fischer Jr, Springfield, Vermont

Sandpaper is a Paper with a layer of fine sand has been fixed on one side by means of an adhesive. In woodworking — using an abrasive motion — used to smooth and/or polish surfaces.

An abrasive material prepared by coating stout paper with glue and sifting fine sand over its surface before the glue sets. Abrasive paper sold as “sandpaper” is sometimes actually glass-paper made of powdered glass. The cutting property of glass-paper is relatively low. Quartz-paper, also sold as sandpaper, has a higher cutting property but not so high as garnet.

The first recorded instance of sandpaper was in 13th-century China when crushed shells, seeds, and sand were bonded to parchment using natural gum. Shark skin was also used as a sandpaper. The rough scales of the living fossil Coelacanth are used by the natives of Comoros as sandpaper.

Boiled and dried, the rough horsetail is used in Japan as a traditional polishing material, finer than sandpaper. Sandpaper was originally known as glass paper, as it used particles of glass. Glass frit has sharp-edged particles and cuts well; sand grains are smoothed down and did not work well like sandpaper made from glass. Cheap counterfeit sandpaper has long been passed off as true glass paper; Stalker and Parker cautioned against it in the 17th century.

Glass paper was manufactured in London by 1833 by John Oakey, whose company had developed new adhesive techniques and processes, enabling mass production. A process for making sandpaper was patented in the United States on June 14, 1834 by Isaac Fischer, Jr., of Springfield, Vermont.


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