My Collection – Photos and Commentary


United States Pencil Co.

United States Pencil Co., an American pencil company —

US Pencil Co Brands

USCO 486 varieties:

USCO 486

USCO Electro 486, a “transitional species” between USCO Grafine Lead 486 and USCO Electro 100:

USCO Transition

USCO Electro 100:USCO 100

Three different expressions for 2-1/2:

USCO 2.5

The only other place I’ve seen 2-5/10 is on Ticonderogas.

Nearly identical Evergreen copying pencils made in Czechoslovakia and in USA:

Czechoslovakia and US

An older ad showing that the Czech versions were actually made by L & C Hardtmuth:

Evegreen Copying Ad

I have seen an ad indicating that Our Drummer is also from U.S. Pencil Co. —


Swan USA

Some of the major German pencil companies had subsidiaries in the United States.  The Swan Pencil Co., based in New York, was a subsidiary of Schwan.  Swan produced several brands —

Swan Brands

Othello and Fortuna are major Schwan brands.

Tiger 440 may be original to Swan —


As evidenced by the wartime plastic and cardboard ferrules, Swan continued to produce and sell pencils during WWII.


General Pencil Company brands.  Others are in the Bowling and Red|Blue posts —

Kimberly 525 varieties:

Semi-Hex 498:

There’s a newer one with green lettering.  I typically don’t have new varieties.

These blue colored pencils all have numbers ending in 3:

Product Number Variation

Occasionally the product number associated with a particular brand of pencil will change with time, such as when Dixon’s Ticonderoga 1386 became 1388. Usually this change is accompanied by an update in design.  But here are a couple of pairs for which only the number is different:  

I suspect that for these, the product number printed on the pencil depended on the manner in which it was sold, for example individually or in a packaged set.


Dixon Beginners 308 is another example of a brand that lasted many decades, over which time there were several variations but no major changes —

What’s up with the green one?  It looks like its competitor, the Venus Scribbler.


Lo-Well was one of many pencil companies that were once headquartered in New York City.  Their main brand was Tech, varieties of which are shown here:

They also had an original series of pencils that appears to have been marketed for various professions –

I wonder how popular these were.  Did liquor store owners really prefer to use The Liquor Pencil?  Did priests covet The Clergyman’s Pencil?

Eagle Simplex

Eagle Pencil Company produced a wide variety of writing instruments.  One was an interesting mechanical pencil named Simplex.  It was cheap and came in several styles.

The Simplex has a patented, simple mechanism –

As the metal cylinder is screwed along the outside of the wooden body, a rod pushes the lead forward.

But there is also an older type of Simplex pencil that is completely different –

The lead is exposed by tearing off pieces of material around it.  This is similar to Blaisdell’s paper pencils, which were patented a year earlier (1895).

A. W. Faber Castell 9000 Varieties

Not 9000 varieties, but still a lot.  This famous brand began in 1905 and continues to this day.  These are from before 1993, when the A.W. was removed. 

Click for larger image

I have others too: without paint, variations of the back side, minor variations in lettering, and an anniversary edition.