My Collection – Photos and Commentary


From time to time I’ll be exhibiting pencils with errors or odd features, grouped into categories, of course.  This post will feature problems with pencil tips. 

But does “tip” refer to the end of the pencil that may have an eraser (its usual meaning), or to the sharpened end (which seems better described)?  The ambiguity of this term has always bugged me.  I will mean the former, usually.

Missing ferrule:

Missing Ferrule

Wrong end:

Wrong End Pairs

Wrong End Ferrule

Wrong color:

Stabilo-micro Swan

7 responses

  1. Very interesting remark and explanation. I have some of them too and I have took them as different pencils….without real understanding. And there are pencils with typing errors….

    August 9, 2013 at 8:27 am

    • The Dixon Federal without eraser may actually be an intentional variety, but I doubt that the others are. Sometimes pencils with defects are sold as seconds, but some of these I found mixed in with regular pencils.

      August 9, 2013 at 9:59 am

  2. Adair

    Are the “wrong-ended” pencils actually wrong, or are they designed for left-handed writers? I think that was the intention.
    As always, marvelous photos. Thanks!

    August 10, 2013 at 4:06 am

    • Respectfully, I must disagree (about the left-handed writers, not the photos!), for a few reasons. 1. In the 20’s and earlier, it was common, even typical, for pencils to be in the “left-handed” orientation. That would have been a matter of style, not utility. 2. I’ve never seen a pencil marketed specifically for left-handed people. 3. Having printing on a pencil being upside down during writing would rank very low among inconveniences that lefties must endure, I imagine. (Andy might disagree.) 4. Having the text remain visible as long as possible as the pencil gets shorter is important. That’s why it is shifted away from the writing end, with the lead number usually farthest away. In my photos, the “wrong end” pencils have text closer to the writing end.
      Any other opinions on the matter?

      August 11, 2013 at 12:17 am

      • I can only agree with your assessment on this matter. The ‘wrong-ended’ pencils obviously look like a mistake. What we call ‘lefties’ are purposely made.

        October 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  3. Anonymous

    regarding the “wrong” color on the button dip of the Stabilo 8000. I think these are from a different times/presentation. The dark black at one time indicated the soft leads ( up to 8B) and the gray indicated the harder leads ( to 10 H). I believe the STABILO red button dips red come from when the button dip was not used to indicate the hardness

    October 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    • Maybe. But the pencils are otherwise identical, and I haven’t come across any others (of the same design) like this.

      October 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

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