My Collection – Photos and Commentary

Red | Blue: Long

For the final installment of red and blue lead combination pencils, I present wooden ones that are 8 to 9 inches long:

As for the intended purpose of these pencils, I would say that the Romantic and Rainbow are novelty items.  Despacho from Johann Sindel indicates something to do with shipping.  And the Hardtmuth and St. Majewski pencils bear the medical caduceus symbol.  Why is it useful for medical pencils to be so long?  Maybe so that doctors don’t have to bend over quite as far to mark charts that are tied to patients’ beds.

Now for some statistics.  I have shown a total of 307 red/blue pencils, not including the mechanical ones.  77% have the red lead on the left, blue on right. — But for U.S.-made ones, only 60% are oriented this way, while 88% of non-U.S. ones are.  74% have left and right sides painted red and blue (or with colored marks left and right). — But for one of these, the leads don’t match the paint!  (Can you find it?)

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5 responses

  1. Henrik

    842 Othello by Schwan :-)

    June 29, 2012 at 12:10 am

  2. David J. Santos

    The Johann Sindel pencil you show was made in Spain, by a pencil company named Hispania that no longer exists (http://urbancidades.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/lapices-hispania_detalle-small.jpg) . “Despacho” must be understood here as “for office use”. Best regards from Spain.

    June 29, 2012 at 6:47 am

  3. Gio

    The Hardtmuth 700 (the totally black one) is it still in production? I used them till not too long ago, but now can’t find them anywhere on the web.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:12 am

    • Although the one you mentioned may be the newest, I believe it is a few decades old.

      By the way, I found that the snakes-and-staff caduceus is a symbol for commerce as well as medicine. Also, “comptoir” (first purple pencil) can mean business table. Considering also what Mr. Santos said about “despacho,” I believe that all but the top two pencils were intended for business purposes.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

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