Seven Years


WordPress informs me that Contrapuntalism has turned seven. And as it is with most anniversaries, I’m left wondering where the time has gone.


I started blogging slowly with a site called Pencils and Music, which like a lot of blogs ended up being more of a false start. That blog was rolled into BlackwingPages, which would end up having a much narrower focus.


I found that I missed posting about the historical aspects of pencil-making (and in diminishing frequency) the occasional music-related post, so I started Contrapuntalism.


Over the past seven years this blog has become an outlet for my interest in writing culture, but more specifically the histories of A.W. Faber and the Eberhard Faber Company. I could not have imagined some nine years ago that what started in my office as an online search for some “good” pencils, would eventually result in the privilege of meeting and spending time with both Anton Graf von Faber-Castell and Eberhard Faber IV, much less to have been given the opportunity to pore over the original photos and handwritten documents of their ancestors.


The work continues at a disparate pace, but I’ve taken the first steps toward having the Eberhard Faber Co. documents professionally conserved and collected into a preservation-class digital archive: about 600 pages have been scanned, including the handwritten minutes from the Board of Directors meetings from 1898 to 1911, as well as university documents belonging to Johann Eberhard Faber (1822-1879) dating back to the 1840s. Also, there have been some preliminary discussions concerning university hosting for the collection, which will ultimately result in making it available to the public.


I can’t predict if and when it might all be online, but I’m glad to say that all of this work and research is moving in the right direction.

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13 Responses to Seven Years

  1. Stephen says:


    Congratulations on this anniversary and the remarkable achievements of your blogs! I’m in awe of your having interviewed and met both Count A. W. von Faber-Castell and Eberhard Faber IV. (And am not surprised that they also wanted to meet you.) Your contributions to understanding the story of pencil manufacture are unparalleled and most appreciated. Preserving the archives of Eberhard Faber will be a lasting gift.

    Also, those photos are a delight!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Julie Paradise says:

    Wow, congratulations to your blogoversary!


  3. Sola says:

    Lucky seven! Happy anniversary, Sean 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Sean. And thanks for the great photographs. And +1 for Glenn Gould.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gunther says:

    Congratulations on your blog’s seventh anniversary! Thank you not only for this blog but also for your others which I have enjoyed very much and of course still do. Your contribution to the world of pencils is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sean says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your well-wishing. I owe a debt of gratitude to Stephen, Gunther, Matthias, and Michael: your blogs have always been (and continue to be) sources of inspiration, and stand out in an ocean of ad-clicks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. memm says:

    Happy birthday, and may I add that the photos are fantastic..
    If this blog is already seven, how old would Pencils and Music be now? In my mind this blog started much later than your first one…

    Thank you for all your efforts. I am looking forward to your archive and an happy that you preserve pencil history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean says:

      Thanks Memm. I think 2010 was when I first posted at P&M, but I had a personal blog back in 2006 that had some pencil-related posts. So, I should say that P&M wasn’t my first attempt at blogging in general, but the first concentrated on pencils and such.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Andy says:

    Happy Blogversary, Sean! Your blog is an amazing source of visual and historic inspiration! I love your thoughtful, thorough research into these venerable companies.


  9. Patrick says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary. I’ve been a reader ever since Pencils and Music and have enjoyed your posts thoroughly on each and every iteration of your blog. Here’s to another 7!


    • Sean says:

      Thanks Patrick. I wonder if I oughtn’t cull together what materials I can from the old blog and maybe make a separate page for them here. Something to think about…


  10. Koralatov says:

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone. I’ve always enjoyed the posts you write, and the singular, scholarly focus you bring to the subject.


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