March 30th is Pencil Day.
On March 30, 1858, Hymen Lipman received a patent for a pencil with an attached eraser. It was later invalidated because it was determined to be a composite of two devices (a pencil and an eraser) rather than an entirely new product.
The word pencil is derived from the Old French pincel, meaning a “small paintbrush”. That was derived from the Latin penicillus, meaning “little tail”.
- The average pencil holds enough graphite to draw a line 35 miles long or to write 45,000 words.
- Most pencils sold in America have eraser tips, while those sold in Europe usually have none.
- Eberhard Faber built the first American mass-production pencil factory in New York City in 1861.
- Pencils were among the basic equipment issued to Union soldiers during the Civil War.
- A pencil will write in zero gravity, upside down, and under water.
- Hexagonal shaped pencils were developed as an alternative to round pencils because they won’t roll off the desk.