#Pencils December 10

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Some items that are nearly two hundred years old continue to thrive in a high tech digital age. One of them is No. 2 yellow Ticonderoga PENCIL.

A cup full of pencils on my work desk

The last study I could find online done by the NPD group reported that PENCIL sales increased 6.8% in 2012. The biggest producer of PENCILS is Dixon Ticonderoga.

The PENCIL we know today got it start in 1829 but it was the Civil War that increased its popularity. Soldiers wanted to write letters back home and a quill didn’t work so well on the battlefield. That rising demand resulted in a machine being produced that could manufacture 132 Pencils a minute.

In 1913, the yellow No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil was introduced. The pencil was originally manufactured with brass ferrule, but it was temporarily changed to green plastic due to a metal shortage during World War II.

Pencils are subjected to all kinds of myths. For instance chewing on a pencil will produce lead poisoning.

All PENCILS produced by Dixon Ticonderoga are tested to make sure that they are completely nontoxic. Yet a common misconception is what many call the pencil lead is actually graphite. In fact, lead has never been used in pencils. It’s always been a graphite compound.

Chewing on a No. 2 Yellow Pencil was even part of Seinfeld Episode.

The PENCIL is still with us because of its everyday utility and ubiquity.

The No. 2 yellow is a staple of most of our education and even in a digital age that is hard thing do with out.

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