Entries by Gina Verrastro

A Brief History of Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles, like so many things I love, originated in England in the 19th century, although they were first widely published in the United States. They were a derivation of the “word square,” a children’s puzzle that looks exactly how you imagine it looking. CrosswordTournament.com credits journalist Arthur Wynne of Liverpool as being the author […]

The History of the Bullet Pencil

Bullet pencils, as the name suggests, are pencils whose casings are made from spent rifle cartridges. They originated on battlefields in the early nineteenth century, and were sold as souvenirs. .303 British rifle casings were the most commonly used. As British colonialism spread in Africa, the industry of battlefield souvenirs boomed. Opportunistic scavengers-turned-entrepreneurs picked over […]

How to Sharpen a Carpenter Pencil

My dad is very handy, and when I was growing up he had a workshop in the garage where he would fix things that had broken and make things from scratch. As you can probably imagine, there were not very many things on my dad’s workbench that I was allowed to touch, but while he […]

Types of Paper Prints and Their Uses

You may be familiar with different weights and textures of paper, but what about different paper prints? Each paper type has a different set strengths and weaknesses that makes it ideal for different purposes. Read on to learn more… College-Ruled or Wide-Ruled If you’ve been to school at any point in your lifetime, chances are good that you’re […]

The Best Wood for Pencils

We’ve talked before about the different materials used to make pencils, and how to identify the material your pencil is made from. But what makes a wood good for making pencils? Let’s take a look at the two most popular woods used to make pencils: basswood and, the best wood for pencils, incense-cedar. Incense-cedar Incense-cedar is reddish-brown […]

Our Favorite Dr. Seuss Drawings

Fans of Dr. Seuss (and let’s face it, who isn’t a member of that club?) have something to celebrate! A newly-discovered manuscript by Theodor Geisel, a.k.a Dr. Seuss, is being published by Random House and will be released on July 28. The book manuscript was found by the late author’s widow. In What Pet Should […]

Elephantmen Creator Richard Starkings on Pencils

Richard Starkings is not just the creator of the Elephantmen comics, he is also the owner. While many artists hand over the rights to their comics to the publisher – making them vulnerable to being overruled or pushed out altogether if sales begin to dip – Starkings has maintained control over his comics for over […]