My Collection – Photos and Commentary


What a Stud

Sometimes wooden golf-scoring pencils were fabricated from partly finished regular pencils.  In this case, to humorous effect.


For your amusement, a vintage “Nudist” pencil —

Click for enhanced image

But what is that squiggly thing?  Click on the picture for a closer look.

Two Bits

You know that little tune that used to come after humorous bits on TV or radio, which went “DUM da da Dump dum, Dum DUM,” the original words to which were “Shave and a haircut, two bits,” two bits being an archaic term for 25 cents?  No?  Then just admire the ferrule on this old ad pencil.

OK, Fine.

This is a tale of two pencils. To the best of my knowledge, it is entirely ficticious.

Once upon a time, the mighty Eberhard Faber company created a new pencil. It was blue of hue and high of quality. They were proud of their creation, and they named it Fine Blue. They sent it out into the marketplace with high hopes. And for a while, it thrived. But then, something happened. Customers began to complain that they were disappointed with the pencil’s quality, and sales dropped. Maybe it was because of poorer raw materials, or because the production machinery had deteriorated, or because of employee burn-out. Or maybe the pencil was never really that great in the first place. We may never know. But Faber had invested too much in Fine Blue to abandon it. So, after much consideration, they renamed it Okay Blue. Okay, as in not great, but not bad either. Just… OK. The customers were pleased with this new truth-in-advertising honesty, and sales picked up again. Thus, Okay Blue was fine. The End.


I Am a Glutton

I have been a glutton for pencils, that’s for sure.  With this blog, I pause to burp.

I have a soft spot for Japanese pencils.  They are different from American pencils and quite interesting.  You will see them here fairly often.  I gathered many when I lived in Japan in 1992-3.  I have fond memories of walking around different cities and towns, searching for stationery stores.  Many neighborhoods, as well as the main shopping districts, had a store.  Often they were little mom-and-pop (often grandmom-and-grandpop) shops that had been there forever, with some grimy old pencils as well as new ones in the displays.  I imagined that these old pencils stood there, year after year, waiting patiently for… me to come from across the sea and rescue them.  Also intriguing is the fact that Mom and Pop kept trying to sell them.