The pencil is an everyday tool. Some of its uses are for writing school papers, for completing schoolwork, and for drawing. There are many other uses for the pencil.
In 1564, N.J. Conte invented the pencil. He did so after another family tried but failed.
There are ten steps that you need to go through to make a pencil. Incense-cedar logs are cut into pencil blocks, and the pencil blocks are cut into pencil slats. Pencil slats are treated with wax and stain, and then a machine cuts grooves to accept the writing core. The writing cores are then placed into the grooves.
The next step is another grooved slat is glued into the first slat to make a sandwich, and the sandwich is made into pencil shapes by a machine. After that, the pencils are cut from the sandwich and are sanded smooth, and each pencil is painted. The last step is that a ferrule and eraser are crimped into place on each pencil. A ferrule is the metal ring around the eraser that holds it in place. Pencils were invented because most lead wasn’t being used. Today, lead pencils contain no lead. Instead of lead, they use a mixture of clay and graphite.
In 1821, Charles Dunbar discovered a graphite deposit in New England. It was certified as far superior to any graphite that was found before in the United States.
The center of a pencil is called the core. Today, the writing cores are made of graphite and clay. Pencil makers can adjust the hardness of the writing core by varying the ratio of graphite to clay. The hardness of the core is usually marked on the outside of a pencil. It’s usually a No.2 or No. 3. The higher the number is, the harder the core of the pencil will be.
There are also different markings you will see on a pencil. There might me an H or a B or an F. The H means that it is a hard pencil. The B tells you how black the mark will be when you write on paper. The F means that you can sharpen the pencil to a fine point. You might also see an HB, HH or HHBBB on a pencil. The HB means that the pencil is hard and black. The HH means that the pencil is very hard. The HHBBB means that the pencil is very hard and very black.
75% of the pencils sold today are yellow. The color yellow is associated with royalty and respect in China. Pencil manufacturers in America started painting pencils bright yellow to communicate this regal feeling and association with China.
Pencils didn’t always have erasers. The first erasers were edible. In 1842, before rubber was invented, they used bread to erase pencil marks. In 1858, Hyman Lipman invented the eraser. Today, most pencils in Europe are sold without erasers.
Some of the most famous pencil users were John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Edison, and Leonardo da Vinci. John Steinbeck used 60 cedar pencils a day.
One pencil can write 45,000 words and can draw a line 35 miles long. It can even write with zero gravity.
The pencil has been a very helpful tool used in our everyday lives. No matter how far technology comes, there will always be a need for a pencil.
The reason why I wrote about the pencil is because we use it every day in school, and I wanted to learn more about it. And I did.