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British Industrial History

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Nicolas-Jacques Conte

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Nicolas-Jacques Conté (1755-1805) was a French engineer, scientist, and inventor.

An account of his life and work here [1]

Conté invented the modern pencil lead at a time when the French Republic was under economic blockade and unable to import graphite from Britain. Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot asked Conté to create a pencil that did not rely on imported material. After several days of research, Conté had the idea of mixing powdered graphite with clay and pressing the material between two half-cylinders of wood. He received a patent for the invention in 1795, and formed la Société Conté to make them. He also invented the conté crayon. [2]

The Musée des Arts et Métiershave on display a from of dividing engine used for engraving series of accurately-space lines on printing plates, made in 1794 (Inv.3054)

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] CONTÉ, Nicolas-Jacques (1755-1805). Démonstrateur et Administrateur du Conservatoire (1794-1805) [note biographique]
  2. [2] Wikipedia