March 30th is Pencil Day!

Pencil DayHappy National Pencil Day

Happy National Pencil Day! March 30, 1858, is when Hymen Lipman received a patent for a pencil with an attached eraser. The eraser-tipped pencil is 153 years old today!

According to the Roanoke Times in Virginia, writer Robert Linsford wrote for National Pencil Day last year that a pencil is called what it is, because:

In Middle English the word, spelled pencel, meant “artist’s brush.” It was borrowed from Old French pincel or peincel, related to Modern French peinture “painting.” The French inherited the word from the Latin penicillus, for “little tail.”

Also: Do you know why pencils are yellow?

The emergence of Siberian graphite as the standard led manufacturers to associate pencils with the Orient by using names such as Mongol and Mikado and painting them yellow, a color associated with royalty and respect in China.

We hope you have a very happy National Pencil Day today! Later on, we’re going to pop a bubbly and party like it’s 1858.

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  1. […] of the humble pencil being patented on this day 156 years ago by Hymen Lipman.  Check out the pencil blog for more fascinating pencil […]

  2. […] In Middle English the word, spelled pencel, meant “artist’s brush.” It was borrowed from Old French pincel or peincel, related to Modern French peinture “painting.” The French inherited the word from the Latin penicillus, for “little tail.” ~ Robert Linsford (pencils.com) […]

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