One of the most interesting bits of chemistry in the typical classroom is so common that it is used every day without any thought to its characteristic properties or its history. It is the common pencil.
The history of writing is filled with various techniques that changed and evolved as our understanding of materials improved. Some of the earliest writing was done with a sharp stick on wet mud tablets. Sharpened sticks or reeds were used as crude pens. The Egyptians wrote on thin layers of wax coating on tablets. Early ink was developed by the Chinese, by combining soot with gelatin and musk.