Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pencil Me In!

As long as I can remember I have adored pencils and pens. I have vivid memories going into the Sanrio store at the mall in the early '80s and not being interested in anything but the center kiosk filled with colorfully designed pens and pencils, organized by character, color, and even smell. And then there's a memory of viewing the Andy Warhol Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago and then visiting the art supply store just a block down the street, its shelves filled with every kind of colored pencil, mechanical pencil, drawing pencil, marker, ballpoint pen, calligraphy pen, and fountain pen you could dream of. How to buy just one? And then there were the character pencils from the '80s, like Garfield, and pencils with rainbows or unicorns, shiny pencils... *sigh* So today I pay homage to the pencil, on this National Pencil Day, with some pages from the 1897 A. W. Faber Lead and Colored Pencil Catalog, and some fun pencil facts:
  1. The pencil has been mass-produced since 1622.
  2. On March 30, 1858, the first U.S. patent was issued for a pencil with an eraser on the end.
  3. 75% of all pencils are yellow.
  4. A single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words, or draw a line 35 miles long.

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