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Sunday, 29 June 2014

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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.

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