The story of the pencil
Because the pencil has become such a fundamental part of our lives,
itís difficult to remember that people have not been using them
forever.Pencils had to be invented. Before the fist half of the
sixteenth century , people used to use pens to write with and brushes to
paint with . It was also possible to use a metal stick to make faint
marks on paper. However, up to that point no one had found an easy way
to make marks that could be erased. Then , some time before 1565, a
large deposit of chemical, graphite, was found near Borrowdale in
Cumbria , England. The locals would use this graphite to mark sheep.
Soon , tales of this unusual soft substance had been spread to artists
around the world , who were eager to use it to produce works of art.
Graphite is soft and dirty, and in order to write or draw with it, it
used to have to be covered in something , such as sheepskin or string.
People had been trying to improve the pencil for some time before
manufacturers in Italy came up with the idea of enclosing the graphite
in a wooden case. The modern pencil was born.