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History of Natural Graphite Use

In the 4th millennium B.C., during the Neolithic Age in southeastern Europe, the Marita culture used graphite in a ceramic paint for decorating pottery.


Some tiem before 1565 (some sources say as early as 1500) , an enormous deposite of graphite was discovered on the approach to Grey Knotts from the hamlet of Seathwaite in Borrowdale parish, Cumbria, England,which the locals found very useful for marking sheep. During the reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Borrowdale graphite was used as a refractory material to line moulds for cannonballs,resulting in rounder,smoother balls that could be fired farther,contributing to the strength of the English navy. This particular depsoit of graphite was extremely pure and soft,and could easily be broken into sticks. Beacuse of its military importance, this unique minde and its production were strictly controlled by the Crown.



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