What would our world be like without pencils? Pencils have been around for ages and were supposedly created by the Romans. The Romans called the pencils ‘stylus’. The first pencils were very basic. They consisted of a long pointed stick of lead wrapped in string. Many years later, graphite was discovered. Graphite was first used to mark sheep in England. Graphite replaced lead because it would leave darker marks.
In 1662, Germany was the first to mass produce pencils. In 1812, a cabinet maker named William Monroe is credited for making the first wood pencils in America. In 1858, some clever individual added the eraser to the pencil. Did you know, many pencils are yellow because China used yellow for royalty and respect. US manufacturers used this concept to make their pencils more attractive to customers. Red cedar was the first wood used for pencils, then they switched to incense-cedar. Most pencil companies in the US were in the south, with the greatest concentration in Tennessee. It is fascinating to know that 100,000,000 pencils are used each day in the U.S.