Published on March 30th, 2015 | by admin


Happy National Pencil Day!

Dating back to 1622 when the pencil was first produced, this everyday writing item made out of cedar wood has continued to be an essential everyday stationery item we all use on a regular basis.

From famous novelists such as Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck who used pencils to write their books, through to world renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh who used them to create some of his masterpieces, pencils have been utilised far and wide.

And for lovers of pencils everywhere, (that includes us!), today is a day to celebrate their existence and enduring appeal as it’s National Pencil Day!

Apparently, more than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world each year. Putting that number into perspective, that’s enough pencils to circle the globe 62 times!

The pencil trivia we’ve researched doesn’t stop there. A typical lead pencil can draw a line that is 35 miles long and can write approximately 45,000 words. The average pencil can also be sharpened 17 times with pencil sharpeners.

Not that this is something any of us are likely to do, but pencils can be used to write under water and contrary to popular belief, the ‘lead’ in pencils is in fact a non-toxic graphite.

These days there are a large variety of pencil types available within what is termed as the graphite grading scale which is used to measure the hardness of a pencil’s graphite core.

At the Post Office Shop, we sell a range of pencils within the graphite grading scale. Pencils are graded on a continuum for ‘H’ (hardness) and ‘B’ (blackness) with a number to say how hard or how black it is. As ‘HB’ occupies the middle of this scale it is the most commonly used pencil because of it suitability for everyday writing.

A pencil with more H’s will have harder lead and will produce lighter lines. Meanwhile a pencil with more B’s will be softer lead and will produce darker lines. For example, a pencil marked ‘HB’ is hard and black. At one of the end of the scale, an ‘8B’ pencil is much softer than a ‘2B’ pencil and a ‘9H’ pencil is much harder than a ‘2H’ pencil.

Whichever type of pencil suits your needs, we wish everyone a very happy National Pencil Day!

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