The Invention of the Pencil
people take for granted the writing tool known as a pencil and many are thrown
away before they are even halfway used. The advent of the writing tool began in
The discoverers of the graphite assumed that it was a lead ore since it was similar to lead in many ways, hence the name pencil “lead”. We now know that graphite is made from one of the four known forms of carbon, the same material that makes up diamond, coal and Buckminsterfullerene. The term graphite actually comes from the Greek meaning “to write” and pencil comes from the Latin penicillus (meaning little tail), the name of the brushes used by the early Romans. The French under Napoleon found a way to mix the powdered graphite with clay to obtain different hardness leads and Germans in the 1600s fired the graphite powder to make fairly usable sticks. It wasn’t until the late 1700s that the technology became widely available enough to mass produce the pencil effectively.
pencil is one of the world’s most efficient tools being able to draw a line that
is thirty-five miles long, write over forty-five thousand words and be
sharpened around seventeen times. The
yellow color began in the late 1800s when the best graphite available could be