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Requirements for Pencil Pushers: The Perfect Pencil

Updated on July 12, 2012

The Pencil

Dalton Ghetti has been carving pencil tips for the last 25 years, but hasnt sold any of his artworks, He just gives them to friends, as gifts.
Dalton Ghetti has been carving pencil tips for the last 25 years, but hasnt sold any of his artworks, He just gives them to friends, as gifts. | Source

When was the last time you looked, I mean 'really' looked, at a pencil?  I'm talking about looking so close your eyes get crossed, you become dizzy and you fall off your chair, only to wake up when the dog starts licking your face. don't look that close...but how about glancing at one and seeing the pencil for the first to speak.



According to pencil researchers, at the University of Pennsylvannia (pun not intended, but it came out anyway) the pencil will be defunct by the year 2020, being completely replaced by digital products, and the only extant pencils by that time will be found in dusty old glass cases in dusty old museums (dust will still be around in 2020) and when little boys named Theobald will say things like 'Daddy! What is that yellow thing?' and Daddy will regale them with stories of pencils from his past, and try to convince little Theobald that at one time they only had pencils and such things as the Blackberry was something they ate in Granny's pies. And little Theobald will kick Daddy in the shins and say 'stop fibbing! I look like a Dummy to you?'...or something to that effect...after all, if your name is Theobald, you are expected to act like that aren't you?

Pencil Requirements

So having exhorted  you to 'really look' at a pencil, I should now do the same myself, and see what I shall see and then you tell me what you see, and we can compare notes sometime in the next century when I have an opening in my schedule.

The pencil, and I am referring to the average pencil here, so don't get your wires crossed thinking otherwise, is always yellow in colour has a rubber or eraser on the end, and a piece of lead in the middle. These are the minimum requirements in order for you to call yourself a 'pencil' although why you would want to is beyond me.



I have a pencil--and I'm not afraid to use it! This is the motto of the professional pencil-pusher, who spends his long days, writing implement in hand, recording, jotting,scribbling,scrawling,transcribing and otherwise immortalizing the things he needs or has been instructed by superiors, to set-down on paper.

Unlike the ink-pen, which is indelible, and used by persons who make good decisions,and take care in their writing and thinking; whereas  the pencil is the instrument of choice for those prone to making mistakes, changing their minds, or otherwise covering up their tracks.

Personally, I tend to belong to the latter group.

Some Early Pencils

Pencil Beginnings Began in Rome

IT was those old Romans, clever chaps, who used to write with marking device known as a stylus--which was a metal stick, made of lead, and  used to scratch words (or perhaps draw pictures if you were a Roman child)  onto papyrus. A date to remember, for pencil-ologists,is  1564, when a huge cache of graphite was uncovered in Borrowdale, England. Local residents used it to mark sheep,('ba-ba-black sheep'  got it's name from the black graphite used to mark it--?) and soon realized that they could cut it into sticks and lo-and-behold, carry it with them. Now, as any schoolboy, or schoolgirl knows, graphite is generally soft and crumbly like a wet cracker, so soon after, Italian craftsmen (more clever chaps!)  came up with the idea of hollowing out a stick of juniper wood and then filling it with graphite. And so the more modern looking pencil was born, the only difference being that today they simply glue two pieces of wood together to capture the graphite stick in the middle, because carving out piece of juniper to make it hollow simply takes too much time, and you have to have such tiny hands to do it!

Pencils Can Prop Up Your iPAD!
Pencils Can Prop Up Your iPAD! | Source

Other Pencil Places to Visit

Got a hankering to handle a stick of graphite? You could try some top sites for your pencil purchases such as these:

  • has everything from premium art pencils to green-conscious recycled.
  • The Pencil Grip is said to be "a revolutionary applied technology that works with the body’s natural physiology to gently place fingers in the proper position for gripping." which makes it the ideal writing instrument for kids and oldsters alike, who may find a pencil a hard thing to get a grip on!

  • Are you a Pencilholic? Are you crazy about the graphite stick?  Do you even like jokes and trivia about your pencil-pal?  Then here's your site! 

Give a Pencil to an African Child with The Pencil Project

The Pencil Project for African children--provides pencils for the pencil-less! What could be more fun!
The Pencil Project for African children--provides pencils for the pencil-less! What could be more fun! | Source

Milton Friedman Does a Riff on The Pencil


Submit a Comment

  • Woody Marx profile image

    Woody Marx 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    MPG: I too love doodling with pencils. Nothing else gives that smooth,and subtle look to things. The soft pencils are my favourite, but I will use a hard one for special doodles that I intend to send to the Smithsonian...of course they always send them back. ;)

  • MPG Narratives profile image

    Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    I love doodling with pencils, some of my best thoughts come out when I have this awesome instrument in my hands. Gone by 2020!! Please no!

    Amazing how much info on a pencil, thanks woody.