Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Did You Know Tuesday - Fun Facts About Pencils

National Pencil Day falls this week on March 30.  I like to sketch or doodle with a pencil, but rarely use them to write.  (I have always been a felt tip pen girl!)  My biggest memory of using pencils for writing was in elementary school, with the fat, old fashioned pencils that we learned to write with.  (Do children still use these?)

Here are a few fun facts about pencils, in honor of National Pencil Day:

The origin of the word pencil is unclear.  It may derive from pencillis (Latin, "little tail) or pincel (French, "little paintbrush").  

Before erasers existed, bread crumbs were use to erase mistakes.

Hyman Lipman patented a pencil with an eraser attached in 1858.

Pencils were used on early American and Soviet space missions because they can write in zero gravity.

Pencils can also write in water!

John Steinbeck wrote with pencils and sometimes used 60 a day.

Ernest Hemingway also preferred to write with pencils.

Johnny Carson played with pencils on The Tonight Show.  The pencils were specially made with erasers for safety.

Roald Dahl wrote with pencil and kept 6 sharpened pencils ready at all times.

Thomas Edison used special pencils that were thicker than normal pencils.

Henry David Thoreau's father owned a pencil making business, and Thoreau designed his own pencils.

Pencils do not contain lead.  They contain graphite and clay.

14 billion pencils are produced each year worldwide.

The average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long.  It can also write 17,000 words.

If you dream of a pencil, it means you think a relationship may not last long.

So what is your thought on pencils ... Love them?  Use them to write, to draw?  Prefer pens?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

3 comments:

Joules (from Pocketful of Joules) said...

Awesome list and I totally learned something new -- that pencils can write in water!!

Jenn S. said...

So cool! I had no idea National Pencil Day was tomorrow, nor most of these facts. (I've always been more of a felt-tip pen girl too) ;) I believe it about Roald Dahl - it seemed like he always had some kind of fantastic story on his mind. And SO crazy - to think of using breadcrumbs to erase pencil! :)

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for stopping by! Jenn, I agree about Roald Dahl -- he seemed like such a wonderfully eccentric writer; that story did not surprise me at all!