My Collection – Photos and Commentary

Pair Share

Rhinoceros Preservation

Here’s a neat imitation pair –

I think the top Rhinoceros pencil itself is very interesting.  It’s an antique long-ferrule lefty with a nice logo and soft lead with the archaic BBBB designation.  Also, it is made in England by ALPCO, which stands for American Lead Pencil Company (more on that later). 

Then there’s a modern imitation from Taiwan.  Again a lefty – rare in modern pencils – and even keeping the BBBB!  I suspect the lead isn’t even that soft.  Very few people nowadays (besides me, and now you) would even be aware of what the new pencil is imitating (even if there were intermediate varieties), so it’s not really a case of stealing prestige from a famous brand (as with the Lumograph).  But the Rhinoceros style was and is pretty cool.

Linton-Venus Connection

The Linton pencil company went out of business in the early sixties or so, and I’m not aware of the continuation of any of its brands.  Except this:

Art-Guild was one of Linton’s main brands.  I was surprised to see it made by Venus.

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.


Most of us are familiar with the Colorbrite brand of colored pencils by Eberhard Faber.  But did you know they also had a graphite pencil named Colorbrite?

I would guess the graphite one came first, the name owing to the external colors (there are several).  Later they decided it would be a great name for a colored-lead line of pencils.