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Did You Know: Pencil Facts

24 October 2016 by Joey Cofone

Pencils have been around for centuries, and they've gone through dozens of evolutions to become the simple tool that we know today. Here are a few interesting facts about pencils, their origins, and their capabilities.

  • Before erasers, writers removed pencil markings using bread crumbs.

  • It is speculated that the word pencil comes from the Latin word pencillus, which means “little tail.” Another theory is that it is derived from the French pincel, meaning “little paintbrush.”

  • Pencils can write underwater and in zero gravity.

  • Graphite was discovered in England in the mid-16th century. An 18th-century German chemist named it from the Greek graphein, “to write.”

  • The pencil was invented more than 400 years ago, in 1565.

  • Pencil marks are made when tiny graphite flecks, often just thousandths of an inch wide, stick to the fibers that make up paper.

  • Pencils no longer contain lead—the gray matter is made up of graphite and clay.

  • The average pencil can draw a line that’s 34 miles long, write up to 45,000 words, and be sharpened 17 times.

Hope you enjoyed! Head on over to the Archer Pencil page for more.

—The Baron Fig Team // Joey, Adam, Jay, Sam, & Chandler