The History of Doodling

By Loring 6LITA

Nobody knows exactly when doodling begun, but we’re pretty sure it started somewhere in the Stone Age. Why? Because cave drawings, technically, falls into the category of doodling-they have little to none detail, were made while someone was bored, and despite this give information on what the artist is thinking. The cave men “pencil” was likely a finger dipped in crushed beetles or anything else that creates a pigment.

Fast forwarding to sometime in Africa (experts aren’t sure when these mysterious doodles appeared) where massive doodles of animals started to appear. Such as a monkey, composed almost entirely of circles. I think they look rather creepy.

It is now the 15th century, not a lot of people doodle during this period of time due to the inefficiency of having to dip your quill in ink constantly just to doodle-you might as well do the boring stuff instead. Without the use of pens and pencils, the process of doodling is just too difficult. However, with the invention of the fountain pen, that is a different story. A very different story.

In the 16th century, the fountain pen was invented. This gave doodling a little boost, but not much. However, the Renaissance was right around the corner. During the Renaissance, innovators, inventors, even Leonardo Da Vinci, doodled with pens during times of stress and pressure. Even the Queen of Prussia doodled in 1795. Here is her doodle:

It is now 1875, and the pencil (with wooden handles, erasers and all) has just been perfected by an inventor who attached wooden handles around the “lead” (which has since been replaced with graphite due to the poisonous effects of lead). But pencils were expensive, and rural students couldn’t afford them due to the expensive wood handles. Then there was a twist during World War 2. England outlawed all pencils because “its lead and wood could and should be used for war efforts instead”. So the people came up with a simple and yet effective solution: replace the wood with cheap, red cedar. This made pencils much more affordable and England no longer outlawed them. To this day, our pencils are still made from red cedar.

The next boost of popularity for doodling was in 1998, where the first Google Doodle for the Burning Man Festival. This increased the popularity of doodling dramatically. Then future studies about how doodling improves the brain just helped even more!

That, my friend, is a brief history of doodling.