The A.W. Faber Castell turned 111 this year. If the brand’s longevity is surprising, its origins are even more so. The brand was cultivated by Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen, the new head of A.W. Faber (having married Baron Lothar’s granddaughter Ottilie in 1898). He had no experience in the pencil industry, but was determined to create a flagship brand for the company (which, as Petroski has noted, was in response to the success of Hardmuth’s Koh-I-Noor pencils). The first Castell pencils were made available in 1905 but it seems that they took a little while to make it to North America. This article from 1907 sets the scene:
What a great tribute! Thanks for your efforts. I forgot that you have the Jubilate gross. The most beautiful of them all is the short silver extender, though (in my opinion).