Oh, Canada (II)

Somewhere, nestled amidst the endless tundra (and ubiquitous Tim Hortons) was once the Canadian division of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company.

This display folio showcases the Microtomic Van Dyke line:

The line was offered in 18 degrees, from 7B to 9H. They are all stamped in silver except for the softest (7B) and the hardest (9H), which are stamped in gold. Perhaps this was an easy way to know the extent of the line. It seems this folio is missing a pencil in H.

The Microtomic Van Dyke—which was once just the Van Dyke and would eventually become the Microtomic—dates back to before 1900, and remained one of Eberhard Faber’s best-known high-quality pencils. They were marketed as drawing pencils for the most part until around 1914, when they went through a rebranding of sorts. Added to the line of drawing pencils was a set of writing pencils in five degrees. In 1921, they became the first pencil tipped with the innovative clamp eraser.


The word “Microtomic” referred to Eberhard Faber’s proprietary method for refining and preparing graphite. And as the Van Dyke became the Microtomic Van Dyke, the pencils would lose their recognizable yellow polish in exchange for something in a grayish-blue. This set resembles those made in the United States in every way, except for the addition of “Canada” on the barrel.

Eberhard Faber Canada Ltd. would eventually be acquired by Dixon in the late 1970s.

This entry was posted in Pencils and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Oh, Canada (II)

  1. Tony says:

    Nice to know. I have and enjoy using the USA version s. I hope to see the Canadian version for real one day.


    • Sean says:

      As much as I come across Eberhard Faber pencils, I don’t see Canadian versions very often. But there must be a great many of them out there, somewhere.


  2. Gunther says:

    Thank you for showing these gems! Stamping the softest and the hardest pencil differently is a nice idea.


  3. Sean says:

    I wonder if stamping the hardest and the softest pencils differently was ever a common practice among pencil manufacturers.


  4. Andrew says:

    For inquiring minds, “Pencils, eh” provides “A Short History of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Co. of Canada” Ltd. here: https://pencilseh.weebly.com/eberhard-faber-history.html


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.