Great American Pencil Brands

American Lead Pencil Company

Classic pencils are often overlooked.

We all remember brands like Venus and Eberhard Faber, and can sense that feeling of a well-sharpened pencil. But many of the brands and individual pencil models have been forgotten; we forgot how the pencils looked. Not only that, but we tend to buy the cheapest office store brands

The place to learn about pencils is the website It has photos of just about every great pencil and pencil manufacturer. Writes Bob Trudy, who put up the site, “I trust that you will be amazed at the sheer number of pencil brands once produced in the USA and abroad. Sadly those days are over and the craftsmanship, skill and pride once put into the ordinary pencil is but a thing of the past.”

However, Truby found the last two surviving “Made in the USA” Pencil Companies: General Pencil Company (circa 1889) and the Musgrave Pencil Company (circa 1916). Internationally, the German Company Faber Castell still makes high quality pencils and erasers.

America’s best-selling brand is Ticonderoga. It dates from 1913, when the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company created a pencil named Ticonderoga after Fort Ticonderoga, the historic fort. They sell over half a billion pencils a year. It still feels American, and their website even includes a mention that it is made from California cedar. Apparently, they are not made in the United States. Thankfully, they are still made.

And remember: You must have No. 2!

Dixon Ticonderoga Pencil


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. Shelva R Davis
    4755 Country Club Rd
    Apt 105D
    Winston Salem, NC 27104

    July 7, 2017

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am a second grade teacher at Carter G. Woodson School. Our school is a Title I school in which 99% of our students get free or reduced breakfast and lunch. Our school is a charter school that enriches character, morals and self worth.

    I am asking for an donation you can give me to enrich their education. I want to use these donations as incentives for reading. I want my students to read at least 5 books during the week and when they do they can go to the treat box.

    How important is daily reading? Would you like to be exposed or have your child exposed to 1.8 million words a year? Carter G. Woodson requires all students to read for 20 minutes each night at home. Why? Common sense would say and *research has found that good readers naturally spend more time in daily reading. Exposure to reading is important in developing vocabulary for fluency and comprehension.

    Students who scored 90% better than their peers on reading tests, read for more than 20 minutes a day – exposing them to 1.8 million words a year.

    Students who scored at fifty percentile, read on average only 4.6 minutes a day – exposing them to 282,000 words per year.

    Reading at home also builds a bond with their parents. 52% of our children are English Language Learners and reading will build their language development. My students and parents appreciate your gift!

    Thank you in advance for your donation,
    Shelva Davis

  2. Hello,

    I am a third grade teacher at Carter G Woodson School in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Our school is 98% free and reduced lunch and we are a Title ! school. My students are woking hard on all of their subject areas and I want to give them incentives to read as many books as they can. I am asking for pencils and erasers to give them for each book they read. I have 20 students 8 boys and 12 girls!

    Thank you in advance for any items you can send me.
    Shelva Davis
    437 Goldfloss Street
    Winston Salem, NC 27127

  3. If anyone stumbles across this, perhaps you’d like to know that the most legendary pencils of all, the Blackwings, are once again being made, in the good ol’ U S of A by California Cedar Products Company. I’ve got a set of all three kinds of their Palomino Blackwings (plus extra erasers, of course) that I use for technical illustration, drawing/layout mark-up, and general note taking. These are, in my opinion, the best pencils money can buy, and they’re an American Company using grown-in-America wood… Can’t beat that!

    Here’s a link:

  4. Ticonderoga is the best pencil around, but it is difficult to find in our are. I am a teacher at a very low poverty school in Mississippi. We dread the yearly nightmare of pencils staying sharpened. We spend most of our teaching time sharpening pencils. The pencils have lead that constantly falls out or they are covered with designed paper that clogs up the sharpeners. The teachers also spend too much out of pocket money to buy pencils since our parents do not have the means to buy them. We are just very frustrated at the quality of pencils these days.

  5. When I was attending elementary school back in Montevideo, Uruguay, I remember using Johann Faber pencils, and later Eberhard Faber pencils appeared. I’m still researching to find out where those Faber pencils were actually made, and the possibilities are Germany, USA, Brazil, and Argentina. Both pencils had black barrels and no eraser.

  6. It is unfortunate that pencils are no longer made in the USA, as it is unfortunate that almost anything is made in the USA anymore, because Americans need jobs, and the jobs have been sent abroad. We need to bring those jobs back home!


  8. I don’t have a picture of this pencil but it is big on the bottom and tappers down at the top. It says 1170 AMERICAN PENCIL COMPANY. Do you know anything about it?

  9. I have purchased a cardboard American Lead Pencil Company, NY green “Safari Pencil Chest”. Snap closure, two drawers and the top has several cardboard areas to store pencils. The picture on the cover a jungle scene done in gold paint on the green background. There is a gorilla on the left, hunters walking over a bridge, aligators, elephant, snake hanging from a tree, etc. Very old. Wonder if you could give me any insight as to how old this box may be and its value. I can e-mail a pic if needed.

    Thank you for your time!


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