Pencils – a history

oldest pencil

  The origin of today’s pencil goes back to 1565, when a grey-black glistening substance was found in Borrowdale, in the Cumberland hills of England. It was said to be a ‘lead’ coloured material, greasy to touch an quick to stain the fingers. This substance became known as black-lead, and was found to be more convenient for a writing an drawing than pen and ink, as it’s marks could be rubbed out easily.
  In the late 18th century, Swedish chemist Karl Wilhelm Scheele identified the substance as a crystallised form of carbon, like diamond, however structurally very different. He named it Graphite, from the Greek word for writing, ‘Graphein’.
In 1761 cabinetmaker Kaspar Faber settled in Stein, near Nurenburg, in Germany to make his first simple pencils. Graphite was cut into narrow sticks and glued between two pieces of wood which were cut and planed smooth.
  In 1794 the Graphite-Clay process was invented. Powdered graphite was mixed with clay, shaped into thin rods (or leads) then fired in a kiln at high temperature. The greater the graphite content the softer and darker the lead. The greater the clay content the harder and lighter the lead.
  In 1839, Lothar Faber, the great grandson of Kaspar Faber, began to transform the pencil industry. He mechanised production. He invented the hexagonal pencil and created standards for the pencil size and grades of hardness still in use today. His products were marked A.W. Faber, the first ever brand-name writing products and amongst the earliest branded articles in the world.


pencil    مداد
origin    سر چشمه
glisten    درخشیدن
substance    ماده
greasy    روغنی
stain    لکه دار کردن
convenient    راحت
ink    جوهر
identify    شناختن
diamond    الماس
structurally    از لحاظ ساختاری
glue    چسباندن
wood    چوب
invent    اختراع کردن
Powdered    پودر شده
clay    خاک رس
softer    نرم تر
harder    سخت تر
mechanised    مکانیزه شده
production    تولید
hexagonal    شش وجهی


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