Eberhard Faber: Cooperation Among “The Big 4”


This was originally going to be a “this date in pencil history” kind of post, but I would have had to wait until October.

The letter above was written by George Smith, who in 1920 was the president of the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company. The letter is addressed to Emil Berolzheimer of Eagle Pencil Co., L. J. Reckford of the American Lead Pencil Co., and E. E. Huber of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Co. Together, they were referred to as the “Big 4” of the pencil industry.

The letter addresses an expressed interest in listing all of the pencil manufacturers in the world at that time:


What followed was about eight typewritten pages of companies and their addresses, from North America, Europe, to Japan. There were no less than 15 pencil makers listed in England, and some 17 in Japan.

Smith closes the letter with a suggestion that the list be distributed amongst the members of the PMA:


It is an interesting example of cooperation between competitors.

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