Today is National Pencil Day. It commemorates the day in 1858 when Hymen Lipman patented the ‘modern pencil.’ It was a wooden graphite pencil with a rubber eraser attached.
How do you feel about pencils? I love them! From the scritch-scratch sounds they make as they move across the page to the forgiving eraser conveniently placed on top, pencils are special friends. I don’t write with them as much as a would like to because sometimes I worry about smudging the page or wonder if my notes will fade over time, but I think I will resurrect my pencil usage in honor of the day. After all, it was a pencil that first sparked my love of writing, and it is much easier to control than the pen.
I can be a pencil snob. I prefer Ticonderoga yellow pencils or Staedtler black pencils. When it comes to colored pencils, Crayola it is! Obviously, my pencils need to be sharp, and I usually have a handy-dandy pencil sharpener close by for when I can’t get to my electric sharpener. In my classroom, I have one pencil sharpener for graphite and one for colored pencils because as much as I love colored pencils, their wax or oil-based interiors can wreak havoc on a sharpener.
Fun Facts About Pencils – link below
- One pencil can draw a line up to 45 miles long.
- Pencils can write underwater and in zero gravity too.
- One pencil can write up to 45,000 words.
- Almost 14 billion pencils are produced in a year.
- Pencils in the U.S are painted yellow to indicate the best quality pencils.
- Roald Dahl used exactly six sharpened pencils with yellow casings from the beginning of the day; only once all six became unusable would he resharpen them.
- John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” reportedly took more than 300 pencils to write; Steinbeck was also said to be an obsessive pencil user, writing many of his masterpieces in pencil.
I will definitely try to remember the three lessons you can learn from a pencil. I am not fond of the first one; I worry about the second one, but I love the last one!