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 www.brandnamepencils.com. 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!