Each year, March 30th is National Pencil Day. Hymen Lipman received the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil on this day in 1858.
The majority of these writing utensils made in the United States are painted yellow. It is believed that this tradition began in 1890 when the L & C Hardtmuth Company of Austria-Hungary introduced their Koh-I-Noor brand, named after the famous diamond. This pencil was intended to be the world’s best and most expensive pencil. Other companies then began to copy the yellow color so that their pencils would be associated with the high-quality brand.
Notable pencil users (Wikipedia)
- Thomas Edison had his pencils specially made by Eagle Pencil. Each pencil was three inches long, was thicker than standard pencils and had softer graphite than was typically available.
- Vladimir Nabokov rewrote everything he had ever published, usually several times, by pencil.
- John Steinbeck was an obsessive pencil user and is said to have used as many as 60 a day. His novel East of Eden took more than 300 pencils to write.
- Vincent van Gogh used only Faber pencils as they were “superior to Carpenters pencils, a capital black and most agreeable.”
- Johnny Carson regularly played with pencils at his Tonight Show desk. These pencils were specially made with erasers at both ends to avoid on-set accidents.
- Roald Dahl used only pencils with yellow casing to write his books. He had six sharpened pencils ready at the beginning of each day and only when all six became unusable did he resharpen them.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Pick up some new pencils and use #NationalPencilDay to post on social media.
Our research was unable to find the creator of National Pencil Day.
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