My Collection – Photos and Commentary

Obscure U.S. Pencil Companies

There are just a few pencil companies currently based in the United States, and most of those don’t manufacture pencils in the U.S. anymore.  In the past, however, there were many companies.  There were large, famous companies such as American, Dixon, and Empire; medium-sized ones including Linton, Blaisdell, and Musgrave; and little-known (today) ones such as Lo-Well, Mohican, and Providence.

And then there are the really obscure ones.  They may have served mainly local or specialized markets or have existed for a short time.  It’s hard to say how many actually manufactured pencils.

Here I present a collection representing these companies.  To be included in the set, the companies have to be American and the pencils have to say “Pencil Company” or equivalent.  I possess one to three brands from each company.

Click for larger image

One that I find particularly interesting says “Koh-I-Noor Pencil Co., Inc. / Fabricated by Red Cedar Pencil Co.”

There are 12 indicating New York, 4 Chicago.

Here is a list of what the pencils say about the company and location:

Acorn Pencil Co., Shelbyville, Tenn.
Albert Unger Pencil Co.
Allied Pencil Co., N.Y.
Atlantic Pencil Company, 303 Fourth Ave., N.Y.C.
Bogue Pencil Co., Yonkers, N.Y.
California Pencil Co., Hollywood, Calif.
Cavalier Pencil Co.
Champion Pencil Co., Bklyn., N.Y.
Columbia Pencil & Crayon Co., Chicago, Ill.
Condor Pencil Co., New York
Consolidated Pencil Corp’n, N.Y.C.
Cross Country Pencil Co.

German Pencil Co., 36 Tribune Building, New York
Graphite Pencil Co.
Indiana Pencil Co., Newcastle, Indiana
Liberty Pencil Works, New York
Madison Pencil Co.
M-B Pencil Co., Shelbyville, Tenn.
Monarch Pencil Co., New York
North American Pencil Wks., Chicago, Illinois
Pacific Pencil Company
Paige Pencil Co., Omaha
Pencil Corporation of America
Perkins Pencil Co., Chicago, Ill.
Pyramid Pencil Co.
Red Cedar Pencil Co.
Royal Pencil Co.
St. Louis Pencil Co.
St. Joseph Pencil Co., New York – Memphis
Seaboard Pencil Co., New York, N.Y.
Security Pencil Co.

Shirley Pencil Co.
Udall Graphite and Pencil Co.
Union Pencil Co., New York
United Pencil Co, Chicago
Universal Graphite Pencil Co., Clinton, New Jersey
Universal Pencil Co., San Leandro, California

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14 responses

  1. hen

    Really beautiful collection of pencils. Love how the pencils really vary in choice of font, name/description and layout. Thanks for sharing!

    January 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  2. Very interesting list. I try to check what I have – becuse I am outside US :-)

    January 15, 2012 at 12:22 am

  3. An awesome collection! I have been associated in the pencil manufacturing industry for my enitirel life as a tool-maker. I recognize many of the companies represented in your display as customers for our cutting tools. However, I noticed a few missing and was wondering if you knew of them but perhaps didn’t have an examples of their pencils. One that stands out for me, because it was my Grandfalhers first pencil industry customer in 1945 is Mallard Pencil Co. Georgetown, KY. Eventually bought by Empire Pencil Co. they had a long run in the industry. Others that come to mind are Industies for the Blind, Panda and Blackfeet Indian Writing Company.
    Thank you!

    January 17, 2012 at 7:48 am

    • What a cool job! Mallard and Blackfeet weren’t obscure enough to be in this set. Panda — I didn’t put it here because it is part of an Animals set that I will display. (The same goes for Golden Bear Pencil Co., Los Angeles.)

      January 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      • Anonymous

        Fred,
        I’ve got some replacement leads for mechanical pencils made by Panda; can you supply a locale for the manufacturer of the pencils so I can compare and see if the replacement leads and the pencils are made by the same company?
        Thanks,
        David

        August 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      • I don’t have that information.

        August 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

    • Eric Ralls

      I have a couple of the mallard pencils. Love em. The are made of extruded wood,that empire was known for.

      September 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm

  4. Joseph Garred APCS # 1922

    Fred,
    Put me on the top of the list of your fans.
    I always enjoy your posts.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm

  5. BNP

    Really good stuff Fred, really good stuff!

    January 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

  6. This looks great, Fred! I recently found a “Four Star Pencil Co.” made in USA

    August 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  7. Anonymous

    Awesome collection! Thanks for sharing. Love the Graphite Pencil Co. pencil.

    I also have an Atlas pencil and a B-W that might make your obscure list.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

  8. Richard Lewis

    Koh-I-Noor is now a German company (or name) for pens. Old fashioned wooden pens with changeable nibs. Interesting.

    October 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm

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