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10 Facts About Pencils in Honor of Pencil Day!

March 29, 2017

Even in today’s increasingly technological world, we still use pencils all the time. So it’s hard to believe that there was ever once a time before pencils – but of course, there was. On March 30th, 1858, Hymen Lipman was granted a patent for an eraser-topped pencil. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that it quickly became a very popular writing tool. In honor of March 30th being National Pencil Day, these are a few little known facts about one of the first modern writing utensils.

  1. Pencils can write in zero gravity. American and Russian astronauts were the first to use pencils for everything from mathematical equations to tic-tac-toe.
  2. Forget computers or even typewriters — famous novelists Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck both used pencils to write their novels.
  3. Thomas Edison loved to use pencils, but hated the feel of them, so he had ones specially made to be just a bit thicker than a traditional pencil.
  4. Though we’re pretty sure it has never been tested, it’s believed that one pencil could draw a 35 mile long line.
  5. The word “pencil” comes from the Latin word penicillus, meaning “little tail.”
  6. Before Lipman’s invention, writers used bread crumbs to erase any mistakes they made.
  7. You’ll be hard pressed to find a pencil in America that doesn’t have an eraser. But in England, most pencils are sold without them.
  8. The first American based, mass-production pencil factory was located in New York City.
  9. In 2004, China produced 10 billion pencils. That’s enough pencils to circle the world 40 times.
  10. The World’s Longest Pencil stands 65 feet tall and is on display near Kuala Lumpur.

Here at Nickerson Corporation, we are heavily committed to engaging in environmentally friendly business practices and make it a priority to work with manufacturers who share similar values. To keep up with our green efforts, we offer products that are durable (to minimize waste), made from easily replicable parts (to eliminate the need to completely replace such products), and manufactured in a way that does not emit damaging products into our environment. For more information on how we can help you go green in your classroom, please give us a call at (631) 666-0200!