Every day of the year has been designated for something to be celebrated.
March 30 is National Pencil Day.
Origin of National Pencil Day
Hymen Lipman created the wooden pencil and received high praise for how easy it was to use for writing and drawing.
The pencil has been mass produced in Europe since 1622. The first U.S. pencils were made in 1812. During the 1800s, the best graphite came from China.
On March 30, 1858, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the first-ever patent for a modern pencil with an eraser attached to it.
People assume that yellow pencils are the best type, but pencils come in other colors even though 75% of all pencils are yellow.
Fun Pencil Facts
- A single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words
- A single wooden pencil or draw a line that is 35 miles long.
- Pencils can write under water.
- Pencils work in zero gravity and have been used in American and Russian space missions.
- Pencils can write upside down, unlike pens.
- The “lead” in pencils is non-toxic graphite.
- The wood that pencils are made out of is cedar.
- Most pencils are bright yellow, a color associated with royalty and respect.
- The Star Spangled Banner was originally written in pencil.
- The #2 pencil is the most common. There is a #1, #2.5, #3 and #4. The numbers are based on hardness and darkness. That’s why most tests are taken with #2 pencils.
- John Steinbeck was an obsessive pencil user and is said to have used as many as 60 pencils a day. His novel East of Eden took more than 300 pencils to write.
- Henry David Thoreau penciled Walden Pond. After all, his father was a pencil manufacturer.
- Thomas Edison had his pencils specially made by Eagle Pencil. Each pencil was three inches long, was thicker than standard pencils and had softer graphite than was normally available.
- Vladimir Nabokov rewrote everything he had ever published, usually several times, by pencil.
- Vincent van Gogh only used Faber pencils as they were “superior to Carpenters pencils, a capital black and most agreeable.”
- Johnny Carson regularly played with pencils at his Tonight Show desk. These pencils were specially made with erasers at both ends in order to avoid on set accidents.
- Roald Dahl only used pencils with yellow casing to write his books. He had 6 sharpened pencils ready at the beginning of each day and only when all 6 pencils became unusable did he resharpen them.
To celebrate National Pencil Day, set aside your computer and use a pencil to write or just doodle. If you don’t feel like writing, stick a pencil behind your ear, chew on one, or twirl one between your fingers. Just do something with a pencil!