Thursday, March 30, 2023

March 30th is National Pencil Day!

National Pencil Day is celebrated annually on March 30th to commemorate the date (in 1858) that Hymen Lipman registered the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil; previous to his invention, erasers were separate from pencils!

Here's a quick shot of my favourite wooden pencils --my current Blackwing graphite pencil collection:

(please click on image to enlarge)

The black pencil on the extreme left is the Palomino Blackwing, the first Blackwing graphite pencil produced by the company's new owners (CalCedar) back in 2010, when they revived the iconic Blackwing 602 pencil (which had been discontinued in 1998). The original 602 was first made by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company in the 1930s and, over the ensuing decades, was used by many famous artists, writers and composers.

The large group of 26 pencils is my (incomplete) collection of Blackwing 'Volumes' -- a limited edition line of graphite pencils (of varying hardness) featuring a new design every quarter. The first one (number 725, which I don't own) came out in 2015 and the latest one (number 192 from Winter 2022, which I do own) is a pencil with an extra-firm graphite core that honours the songwriting duo of Lennon and McCartney, who wrote an estimated 192 songs together. Each pencil features a different line from a Beatles song on the obverse side; pencils with 12 different song lines were released.

The blue and orange 'Palomino Eras' special edition pencils were released in 2021 as a tribute to the Palomino pencils that inspired the Blackwing 602's revival in 2010. The dark grey pencil to their right is the first 'Eras' pencil, which was released in 2020 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the brand's revival
. The group of four pencils on the extreme right are Blackwing's standard line of graphite pencils (i.e. not limited/special editions):"Natural" (extra-firm graphite), "602" (firm graphite), "Matte" (soft graphite), and "Pearl" (balanced graphite). For more info on Blackwing pencils, take a peek at my reviews on this blog: review #1, review #2, and review #3.

Blackwing's 'Volumes' line has become extremely popular over the years -- the limited edition pencils sell out pretty quickly (and then they pop up on the secondary market at highly-inflated prices). I was fortunate to find individual limited/special edition Blackwing graphite pencils for sale locally at Nikaido and The Vancouver Pen Shop; a lot of pen stores only sell them in boxes of 12, which can get pricey. Whatever pencil you use on National Pencil Day --- wooden or mechanical, limited/special edition or not---I hope you have fun using it! 😊

(~blog post & photo by Maja)

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