This challenge is inspired and initiated by Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out.
The Chinese are credited with discovering and developing the first forms of ink. Made from a combination of pine smoke soot and lamp oil mixed with gelatine made from donkey skin and musk, it was used to blacken the surfaces of raised hieroglyphics carved in stone. The first known use of ink dates from around the 18th century BC.
In India, ink developed and used since the 4th century BC was made from burnt bones and tar. Other ancient cultures devised inks using natural colours from berries, plants and minerals.
By 400 AD a basic formula for ink was created and remained in use for centuries. It was a composition of iron salts, gallnuts, tannin and a thickener. It was known as iron gall ink. When first used the ink was bluish-black, soon deepening to black and fading after years to the brown colour familiar from old documents.
From the 20th century onwards ink production became an industrial process.
Today it is possible to buy a huge range of inks in many splendid colours. For example, Noodler’s inks are produced in a variety of vibrant colours and for the most important documents, when recording must be preserved at all costs, waterproof/bulletproof inks are guaranteed to be permanent. The ink bonds with the celluloid in paper and, once dry, cannot be removed with water, acid, alcohol, solvents, bleach. It will not fade and will be as sharp as the day it was used. It is said that the ink will outlast the paper it is written on!