My Collection – Photos and Commentary

Posts tagged “Pencils

Big Red

Large-diameter pencils.  Red ones, with erasers —

Most are also slightly longer than regular pencils.  They all have names suggesting bigness.

Ring Top

Here are pencils with rings on the end, good for hanging by the telephone —

It’s an interesting coincidence that one is called Saturne, while another is made by Saturn, a German pencil company.

And some larger ones —

Lefty and Righty

Most modern pencils are “right-handed,” the text being upright when held for use by a right-handed person.  Many very old pencils have a “left-handed” design.  Here are some with both handednesses:

The upper Laddie is probably an error, with the wrong end factory-sharpened.  But it would be a lucky find for a left-handed student.

Blog note: I just got a new job in a new location, so postings will be less frequent for a while.  But keep visiting.  I’ve got lots of great things to show you!

Lead from Different Countries

The famous Borrowdale mine in England was the first source of graphite for pencils, but other sources around the world have since been found.  This material, along with its processing, is so critical to quality that some pencils announce the source of the graphite or lead —

Click for larger image

The famous Alibert mine of Siberia is represented.

It’s ironic that the English pencil boasts of having Spanish Graphite.  Meanwhile, another pencil (probably from Austria) has British Graphite.


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?

Red | Blue: Other Countries

I have added red-and-blue pencils from various countries to the R|B Collection page (click here). 

Still to come, but not for a while, are red/blue pencils from Germany, Italy, and the U.S., as well as the Hardtmuth company and mechanical pencils.

Collections, Red | Blue, Japan

FRED’S PENCILS has a new feature: Collections pages.  These pages display large numbers of items in a single category, with minimal commentary.  They are accessible from menus at the top and bottom of any page.  Items may be added in a few installments, which will be announced and described in the Blog.

I’ll begin with a Collection of Red and Blue pencils.  These combination pencils, which are handy for annotating documents and checking forms, are popular with a number of collectors and users.  For me, they were one of the first types of pencil that I considered special.

The first installment is R/B pencils from Japan.  A peculiarity of several of these Japanese pencils is the use of a specific shade of red, Vermillion, and a specific blue, Prussian Blue.  I suspect this has to do with the properties of these colors when copies are made.  (Anyone?)

Watch for much more in this Collection!


As a youth, I used to go bowling often.  There were special pencils for keeping score.  Despite pangs of guilt, I made off with them if I needed them for my collection.  

The leads of these bowling pencils are of two general types: Thick graphite for paper, and opaque yellow or white for overhead projector transparencies.  The latter are fairly easy to wipe off. 


Note that Blaisdell, Moon, and General all made ones having the product number 300, the score of a perfect game.  And General has five different brands!  A couple of their numbers are frustratingly close to 300.