Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Graphite is what makes a pencil a pencil although it started as lead in Roman times.  Graphite being non-toxic, it became the 'lead' in the pencil.

The history of pencils at tells me that Graphite came into widespread use following the discovery of a large graphite deposit in Borrowdale, England in 1564.  Later, the graphite was inserted into hollowed-out wooden sticks and, thus, the wood-cased pencil was born.  Nuremberg, Germany was the birthplace of the first mass-produced pencils in 1662.

Pencils have been painted yellow since the 1890s for an interesting reason.
During the 1800s, the best graphite in the world came from China. American pencil makers wanted a special way to tell people that their pencils contained Chinese graphite.
In China, the color yellow is associated with royalty and respect. American pencil manufacturers began painting their pencils bright yellow to communicate this “regal” feeling and association with China.

How is the graphite put into the hollow wood? Two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together. 

According to the Guardian in a recent article, children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech.  An overuse of touchscreen phones and tablets is preventing children's finger muscles from developing sufficiently to enable them to hold a pencil correctly.  You an see the methods of holding a pencil in the article HERE.

Here's a contrast between two doorways - the first in Toronto and then Buffalo on the garden walk.

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