I write a piece of trivia on my whiteboard at work every morning. It started as a way to lure visitors to my remote cubicle without bankrupting me the way a candy bowl would. Then I moved closer to the rest of my department, and everyone looks forward to the Daily Fun Fact. It’s a conversation starter, a way for us to bond via shared knowledge, and a convenient way to soak up useless tidbits of information to be whipped out during cocktail parties, quizzo nights, and awkward social interactions. In the spirit of bonding and educating our awesome community of readers, here are ten fun facts about pencils!
10 Little-Known Pencil Facts
One theory is that the word pencil comes from the Latin word pencillus, which means “little tail.” Another is that it is derived from the French pincel, meaning “little paintbrush.”
Before the invention of erasers, writers and artists used bread crumbs to erase mistakes.
Famous transcendentalist author Henry David Thoreau designed pencils at his father’s pencil factory before retreating to Walden.
Pencils can write in zero gravity, and were used on space missions by American and Russian astronauts.
They can also write under water!
The first mechanical pencil factory was located in England. It was destroyed in a bombing during WWII.
Earnest Hemingway and John Steinbeck both used pencils to write their novels.
Faber-Castell is the world’s largest pencil manufacturer, and Ray Bradbury even named a character in Fahrenheit 451 after them!
Thomas Edison had pencils specially made so that they were thicker than regular pencils.
It is said that the average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long, although this has never been tested. Be the first to try it out and you could appear on our next Pencil Facts list!
Now that you’re armed with some awesome pencil knowledge, go out and impress your friends, coworkers, relatives, and strangers on the bus. If you have your own arsenal of pencil facts, please share them in the comments! I can always use more material for my Daily Fun Facts.