Ann Banks Pencils – Part 1 of 2

Banks is a surname you really should know if you want to understand pencil making history, with Jacob, Joseph and Ann all playing significant parts in the development of the pencil industry at Keswick. This post focuses on Ann, who in my opinion, is one of the most important female figures in pencil making history... Continue Reading →

Wolff’s “Spanish Graphite” Pencils.

When I think of pencil graphite a few key historic sources come to mind: Borrowdale in England or the Alibert Mine in Siberia (named after Jean-Pierre Alibert for those that don't already know) being two good examples. One other source that usually makes the list is Wolff's "Spanish Graphite", which I had come across on... Continue Reading →

E Wolff & Sons’ Patent Limnoscope

This post is a slight segue from my normal 'pencil specific' posts, towards a 'pencil-adjacent' post. I don't intend on doing this too often, however, should I come across something manufactured and/or marketed by any of my favourite pencil makers, it might find its way onto this blog. I have highlighted my penchant for all... Continue Reading →

The sorry tale of Blaisdell in London

From what I can gather, Blaisdell's involvement in London around the turn of the century was short and not particularly sweet. What makes this an interesting proposition for collectors therefore is the short amount of time the London-marked pencils were produced. What makes this even more interesting for a pencil collector, who happens to be... Continue Reading →

Her Majesty’s Stationery Office pencils

I've seen a selection of recurring markings on pencils, but one that always interested me was the 'S [Crown] O' stamping on a number of older, (mainly) British pencils. If you collect older pencils you've almost certainly come across it before. The stamp tends to sit alongside a code, for example, '48-75' on the pencil... Continue Reading →

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