Of course there's a day for everything. Many days on the calendar, in fact, are used to celebrate more than one "milestone."
But I must admit my dismay when I found out that April 15 not only is Tax Day, but also apparently is Rubber Eraser Day. As editor of Rubber & Plastics News I would have thought this prestigious day would have come to my attention sooner than this, particularly since erasers are one of the oldest articles made from rubber.
So when I did come across this information, while looking through Twitter for any pertinent tweets to share or look into, I did a bit of digging. Not too much digging, but enough to find a few things out about this underserved day of commemoration.
At first thought, you might think there is a correlation between April 15 being Tax Day (I actually finished mine early this year) and the need to erase mistakes from your tax forms. But since very few people still fill out paper tax returns, that is not the case at all.
According to a piece I found on the website nonstopcelebrations.com, April 15 is the day for National Rubber Eraser Day because on that date in 1770 Joseph Priestley described using a gum to wipe away pencil markings. Edward Nairne not too long before that had discovered that this rubber could be used for erasing. Prior to that, bread often was used as erasers, but Nairne, according to the web post, inadvertently picked up a piece of rubber instead of bread, and the "gum" was better suited to the task.
It wasn't until Charles Goodyear's discovery of vulcanization in 1839, however, that rubber eraser became common place.