March 30th is considered the annual pencil day. John Lee Love made the portable sharpener for pencils. Eberhard Faber built the first Pencil factory in United states in the year 1861. Chinese graphite is considered the best and yellow being the royal color in China the American companies wanted to associate their pencils with yellow color to show their pencils have high quality. We still have the same yellow colored pencils in America though that's not the case in other countries.
The invention of writing instrument can't really be dated but the first graphite clay combination which was fired and put in a woodcase was patented by Nicolas Conte. He produced a variety of hard and soft lead pencils. This depended on how he fired the graphite in the kiln. The type of lead was important to artists and draftsmen. A large amount of graphite was found in Borrowdale, England in 1564. The Shepherds used it to mark their sheep. It was very soft and they thought it was lead. So the name continues to this day.
In 1812 , William Monroe from Massachusetts made the first American wooden pencils. The pencils were not colored to show off the red cedar wood which grows in eastern part of United States. By end of 19th century more companies such as Joseph Dixon Crucible Company, Faber Castell got into pencil manufacturing.
Pencils are made of graphite and clay mixed together. They have a cylindrical wooden casing around them. They are used for drawing and writing and can be erased. They are different kinds of pencils such as graphite pencils,charcoal pencils used for drawing,greasy pencils used to draw on glass, these are much softer,colored pencils and Mechanical pencils. They are also graded based on the type of graphite such as No.1, which means it is soft lead, No.2 are the medium graphite ones which are commonly used. Higher number denotes the graphite is darker and harder which are used in drawings and sketches.
The pencils with the eraser installed on the other end was patented on March 30th 1858 by Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia, PA.
The eraser we use to take off pencil marks was brought to Europe by a French scientist and explorer, Charles Marie la Condamine. It was called Indian rubber. South American Indians used rubber to play ball and as an adhesive to stick their feathers.