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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Happy Pencil Day: Write on!

In case you haven’t heard, March 30 celebrates a popular product used for writing, homework, drawing and doodling. It’s Pencil Day! This annual “holiday” recognizes Hymen Lipman. On this day back in 1858, Lipman received a patent for his wood-cased pencil with an attached rubber eraser at the end, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Whether you used them to tap out a tune, to nibble on during class or as substitute chopsticks in a pinch, most folks have probably owned one or two of these writing instruments. In fact, many couldn't leave the house without a pencil back in the day. And depending on your age, a good old No. 2 was a requirement in school!

Pencils have been used for centuries. The first pencil, called a stylus, was used by ancient Romans. After a large graphite deposit discovery in 1564, pencils were graphite sticks wrapped in string. In 1662, the first wood-encased pencil was mass-produced in Germany. While yellow pencils are still popular today, those handy dandy mechanical pencils are also popular with children and adults alike.

Fun Pencil Facts

  • Did you know pencils can write under water?

  • Pencils also work in zero gravity and have been used in American and Russian space missions.

  • Unlike pens, pencils still write upside down.

  • Most pencils are bright yellow, a color associated withroyalty and respect.

  • The average pencil can write 45,000 words or draw a line 35 miles long! Why don't you try it for yourself and see how many words your pencil can write?

  • The Star Spangled Banner was originally written in pencil.

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