In 1770, scientist Joseph Priestley noted, "I have seen a substance excellently adapted to the purpose of wiping from paper the mark of black lead pencil."
Also in 1770, Edward Naime, an English engineer, is credited with creating the first rubber eraser, and reportedly was selling natural rubber erasers for the astonishingly high price of 3 shillings per half-inch cube. According to Nayme himself, he inadvertently picked up a piece of rubber instead of breadcrumbs, discovered rubber's erasing properties, and began selling rubber erasers. Incidentally, this was the first practical application of the substance in Europe, and rubbing out the pencil marks gave it its English name.
However, rubber in its raw form shared the same inconveniences as bread, since it was perishable and would go bad over time. In 1839, inventor Charles Goodyear discovered the process of vulcanization, a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material. Rubber erasers became common with the advent of vulcanized rubber.
On March 30, 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, received the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil. It was later invalidated because it was determined to be simply a composite of two devices rather than an entirely new product.