I recently stumbled upon the fact that August 17th is National #2 Pencil Day. There is also a National Pencil Day in March so why just celebrate the #2 pencil this month? I could not find the answer, but I did find out these 6 interesting facts about pencils in my quest for the answer.
- Most pencils are not made with lead but with a mixture of graphite and clay.
- Pencils where originally painted yellow as a way to show the highest quality.
- The eraser was first attached to a pencil and patented by Hyman Lipman in 1858. He sold the patent in 1862 for $100,000 to Joseph Reckendorfer who then sued pencil manufacturer Faber-Castell for patent infringement. Reckendorfer lost the case as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the patent was invalid.
- There are twenty grades of pencils that range from the hardest (light marking) to the softest (dark marking). They are graded from 9H to 9B with HB and F in the middle of those grades.
- The #2 pencil is usually equal to HB, while the #2 ½ pencil is equal to the F grade.
- Most wood pencils today are made from Incense Cedar.
Have you ever heard of National #2 Pencil Day? Seems like they have a funny holiday for just about everything these days!