Category Archives: Pencils

A Window On The Past

Library of Congress This Richmond and Backus Co. window display from 1902 is packed with all kinds of name-brand stationery items, including E. Faber’s Circular Erasers, Columbia Drawing Ink, and Keuffel & Esser Slide Rules to name a few. How … Continue reading

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Sweet Little Harriet Gimbel

What originally began as a post about an interesting photo from the 1920s quickly twisted and turned into something else. The woman in this photograph is called Harriet (or Harriette) Gimbel, who at the time was one of the players in the 1920 … Continue reading

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Eberhard Faber No. 7049

There seems to be an endless number of these small, inexpensive cases and collections that the Eberhard Faber Co. produced for students. This one is made of what feels like treated paper—not quite as strong as cloth but tougher than … Continue reading

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El Casco M430 Sharpener

At first glance the El Casco M430 is as beautiful as you can imagine. It’s rather heavy, feels very solid, and the polished surfaces are striking against the black lacquered body: Upon closer inspection though, I’m not so sure about … Continue reading

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When Pencils Could Talk

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If Pencils Could Talk

The world makes sense again— Pencil Talk has reappeared through its index page (click): Update: As of November 1st, Pencil Talk will go offline for good. No word yet as to whether an archive will be made available, but I’m hopeful that a … Continue reading

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To Edith from Will

A.W. Faber’s English Polygrade Lead-Pencils were first brought to market in 1837. From the consistency of the leads to the detailed printing and packaging, they represented the pinnacle of mid-19th century pencil-making: Polygrade sets came in a variety of configurations: some with as many … Continue reading

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Making a Lyra (Fan) Out Of Me in Milan

A rainy day in Milan meant there’d be no visiting the Duomo.  Instead the afternoon was put to good use attending to instruments, which were taking a bit of beating passing through many less-than-sensitive hands. I know next to nothing about … Continue reading

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Par Ys

The toponym “Paris”, like many place-names, is derived from the name of a region’s ancient inhabitants: in this case it was the Parisii. But there is another explanation I’ve always liked despite being apocryphal. It has to do with the imaginary city of … Continue reading

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Frankfurt (2): Lexipuntalism

Perhaps the highlight of my time in Frankfurt though, was spending some time with Gunther from Lexikaliker. I’ve been a fan of Lexikaliker since about 2008, and there’s hardly a blog out there that can compare with the care and … Continue reading

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