The invention of Indian ink.

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Indian ink is a black pigment made from a mixture of carbon black and a binding agent such as gelatine or glue which is usually formed into solid cakes and sticks[1]. It was once widely used for writing and printing and is now more commonly used for drawing and outlining, especially when inking comic books and comic strips.


Indian ink was invented[2] in China around 2500 BCE. Chinese ink makers mixed carbon black with glues and gums and poured the mixture into moulds in the shape of sticks. After the mixture dried, a writer would break off a piece of ink stick and dip it in water to use as a pen[2]. Here is a photograph[3] of a bottle of Indian ink:

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  2. /2up, pages 51-52.