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Monday, 9 July 2012

Ask Irongate, "What is a Whiteboard?"


A whiteboard (also known as dry-wipe) is a name for any glossy, usually white surface for non-permanent markings. Whiteboards are analogous to chalkboards, allowing rapid marking and erasing of markings on their surface. The popularity of whiteboards increased rapidly in the mid-1990s and they have become a fixture in many offices, meeting rooms, school classrooms, and other work environments.
The whiteboard was invented by Martin Heit, a photographer and Korean war veteran. The idea was originally developed for having next to a wall phone to take messages down on. During his work with film, he realized that notes could be recorded on film negatives using a marker pen and could be easily wiped off with a damp tissue. Early whiteboards were made out of film laminate, the same glossy finish found on film negatives.
Mr. Heit chose to sell the idea to Dri-Mark, who began to introduce them into the education world.
In the mid-1960s, the first whiteboards began to appear on the market. In classrooms, their widespread adoption did not occur until the early 1990s when concern over allergies and other potential health risks posed by chalk dust prompted the replacement of many blackboards with whiteboards.
The first whiteboards were very expensive and were made of melamine. It was the "perfect" solution to the chalkboard, except that it "ghosted" (retained residue of erased markings) in a short time and was difficult to keep clean.
Glue-backed whiteboard "flip-chart" sheets, are available, permitting any surface, even if irregularly shaped or non-level, to be turned into a whiteboard writing surface.


The whiteboard pen (also called a whiteboard marker or non-permanent marker) was invented by Jerry Woolf from Techform Laboratories and later patented by Pilot Pens in the early 1960s. It's a non-permanent marker and uses an erasable ink—an ink that adheres to the writing surface without binding or being absorbed by it—for temporary writing with overhead projectors, whiteboards, and the like. They may also be used by children when adults want to be able to clean up after them. 

A typical dry wipe board starter kit


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