About National Pencil Day
National Pencil Day has been observed since the 1970s on March 30th. The day was chosen as it was on March 30th 1858 when Hymen Lipman, from Philadelphia, was granted a patent for creating the first wood-cased pencil with an attached rubber eraser. Prior to this erasers and pencils were sold separately.
The patent was then bought by Joseph Reckendorfer, who, in his patent application, explained the construction of the pencil. The patent was later revoked by the Supreme Court when it was challenged by a German firm, Faber-Castell, that attached the eraser using a metal ferrule. Lipman invented neither the pencil nor the eraser, he simply combined the two so the invention was considered invalid.
According to Ben Block, author of “Life-Cycle Studies: Pencils,” the closest ancestor to our well-known graphite companion was made from graphite found in Borrowdale, England. Shepherds there discovered large deposits of pure graphite and found that it was easy to cut and wrote very well. They used this material to mark their sheep and created their pencils by wrapping a slice of graphite in string. He also mentions that the earliest erasers were loaves of bread. By rubbing the bread against the paper it removed the graphite from the surface, much like an eraser would today.
Pencil, from Latin penicillus a "little tail". The word originally referred to an artist's fine brush of camel hair, which was used for writing before modern lead or chalk pencils.
The largest pencil ever made was in 2017 by BIC. It was 3,582 feet 7.75 inches long, and it was made from recycled polystyrene with a graphite center.
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