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Sunday, 22 January 2017



Pencil, a derivative of the Latin word pencillus for "little tail," originally described a small, fine, pointed brush.

In prehistoric times, lumps of colored earth or chalk were used as markers.

The pencil arrived with the discovery in 1564 in Borrowdale, Cumbria, England of a pure deposit of graphite.

A year later, the German naturalist Conrad Gesner described a wooden writing tool that were made of graphite held in sticks of wood.

Nicolas Conté perfected the pencil in the late 18th century by mixing graphite with clay and gluing it between two strips of wood and finishing them in a kiln.

Pencils never actually contained lead, people just called it that cause they thought graphite was a type of lead.

American colonists imported pencils from Europe until after the American Revolution. William Munroe, a cabinetmaker in Concord, Massachusetts, produced the first American wood pencils in 1812.

Writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, the author of Walden was also a pencil-maker.

Bread was used to rub out pencil before erasers were invented in 1839 by the tyre tycoon Charles Goodyear.

Twenty years later, Hymen Lipman conceived the all-in-one pencil eraser. A feature of Lipman's design was that the eraser was installed within the wood of the pencil, opposite to the writing end. In this manner, the pencil could be sharpened at both ends to refresh its graphite or eraser core.

Electric powered pencil sharpeners were used as early as 1910, and were more commonly available from the 1940s.


A typical lead pencil can draw a line that is 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words.

The German word for "pencil" is actually "bleistifit", which literally means "lead stick".

The hole in a pencil sharpener that you stick a pencil into is called a "chuck."

You use a #2 pencil when taking a test because graphite is electrically conductive—a machine uses electrical currents to grade your answers.

Pablo Picasso's first word was "pencil".

Source The Independent

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