Sunday, August 21, 2005

Explore the World of Pencil Collecting

Given my family history in the in the pencil industry it’s not too surprising I tend to have a wide selection of pencils stashed in desks, drawers, closets and cabinets around my house, my office and even the car. A few years back when redecorating my home office I spent some time actually going through pencils that had accumulated over the years. Some even dated to my childhood that found their from that of my parents when an old desk and group of boxes were delivered as part of their own cleanout process.

Among the clutter there were indeed a few gems from a collecting standpoint. Since that time I have become increasingly interested though not always too active in broadening and expanding my collection. This collection includes not just pencils themselves but old advertising materials I feel have some of historical or design interest. A few my own personal pencil favorites relate to our family heritage within the industry dating back to the 19th century with the Berolzheimer und Ilfelder and the early 20th century from the Eagle Pencil Company. The Eagle Diagraph pencils shown here have a very interesting knurled effect in that they were rolled in a steel die which imprinted the surface to provide this interesting texture in order to improve grip. The compass is one of my favorites due to the detailed design in the metal work. For more views of various Eagle brand pencils visit the Pencil Images Gallery at Doug Martin’s Pencil Pages. His site is the most extensive online respurce dedicated to collectors.

Pencils are of course considered collectables by children and adults alike. People specialize within their collections in all sorts of forms such as advertising pencils, old brands and their transitions and developments throughout the years, coloring pencils, carpenter pencils, cosmetic pencils, etc. In Japan, a few years back a few producers even developed a series of “game” pencils decorated with popular cartoon characters with each side of the hexagonal pencil representing a different outcome when the pencil was rolled. Children battle it out on pencil rolls for the fate of their game character pencils.

So what gems might you have stashed away in a drawer somewhere?

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