Joseph Priestley discovered the rubber eraser on April 15, 1770. His invention was of an item made from rubber imported from Brazil that would simply "rub out" pencil marks.
South American Indian Tribes used rubber to make bouncing balls to play with and also as an adhesive for attaching feathers and other objects to their bodies. A French scientist and explorer first brought the substance known as "India" rubber back to Europe.
Sir Joseph Priestley discovered that using "India" gum made the perfect eraser. Europeans were soon erasing marks. The erasers became known as "peaux de negres". Rubber was not an easy substance to work with because it went bad very easily as it rots.