My Collection – Photos and Commentary


Black | Red

While red/blue combination pencils are well-known, there are also pencils that have both black (graphite) and red leads.  Here are a couple of old American ones, with a box:

The box describes what the pencils are for:  Red lead for checking and special notations, black for shorthand and writing. 

This type of pencil is more popular in Japan, judging from the many varieties –

I show both front and back because a common feature of Japanese pencils is that they have important information on opposite sides.

Note that all of these two-way pencils have black on the left and red on the right.  But the one shown on the Shorthandy box is reversed! 

Black/red combo mechanical pencils also exist –

The Autopoint at top is a famous example.


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.