Why everybody needs a pencil in their lives

29th Mar 2016

Here at Acrobat Promotions we get lots of quote requests from our customers for promotional pens but did you know pencils are also very popular. So we wanted to share with you the history of pencils and why we think they are so great. 

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Sketching using a pencil is an incredibly expressive, therapeutic and fun activity, whether you’re a great artist or even if you think you’re not creative and cannot draw. Everybody loves a doodling session. Pencils are so great as you can use a rubber and remove your mistake, or even better rub it with your finger to create a shaded area or interesting effect.  Then when you are done, there are few things more satisfying than placing the pencil behind your ear.

Definition of a pencil - an instrument for writing or drawing, consisting of a thin stick of graphite or a similar substance enclosed in a long thin piece of wood or fixed in a cylindrical case.

Did you know: the lead pencil is not actually a lead pencil, the pencil lead is not made of lead, it’s graphite. So what should actually be called a graphite pencil has been called lead pencil since the 17th century.

We have put together a brief history of pencils.

The Word “pencil” comes from the Old French word “pincel” meaning “a small paintbrush”. Pincel, in turn, comes from the Latin “penicillus” meaning a "little tail".

The modern pencil was invented in 1795 by Nicholas-Jacques Conte, a scientist serving in the army of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The pencil was first discovered in Europe, in Bavaria at the start of the fifteenth century; although the Aztecs had used it as a marker several hundred years earlier. Initially it was believed to be a form of lead and was called ‘plumbago’ or black lead.

The purest deposits of lump graphite were found in Borrowdale near Keswick in the Lake District in 1564. During the nineteenth century a major pencil manufacturing industry developed around Keswick in order to exploit the high quality of the graphite.

The Cumberland Pencil Company opened its first factory in 1832, although the local mines have long been closed and supplies of the graphite used now come from Sri Lanka and other far away places. Cumberland pencils were those of the highest quality because the graphite used shed no dust and marked the paper very well.

30th March 2016 is Pencil Day and we hope that from reading all about pencils you have realised the value of them. One person that loves pencils as much as us is Emilio Arenas from Uruguay, he has the largest collection of black pencils in the world. He has 16,260 pencils from all over the world and holds a Guinness Record. That is a lot of pencils!!!

Contact us today if you would like a more information on branded pencils to promote your business.