The General Pencil Company has manufactured pencils since 1889. Withstanding the World Wars, recessions, hurricanes and new ages of technology, the General Pencil Company has proven itself to be a survivor in an economic climate that tends to push out domestic manufacturers.
Oscar A. Weissenborn founded the General Pencil Company in Jersey after his father sold his pencil factory, the American Pencil Company. Originally named “The Pencil Exchange,” Oscar A.’s pencil factory struggled through World War I’s embargos on German products and became the General Pencil Company in 1923.
In 1927, the company became a family business as sons Oscar E., Oscar A., James and F. Hill joined the company. After a move to California and the seating of a new president (son Oscar A.), General Pencil Company expanded its product line to include fine arts and crafts instruments.
When James Weissenborn became its CEO in 1979 and his daughter Katie joined the company in 1991, General Pencil became a boutique brand, emphasizing its family-based, USA-manufactured, high-quality fine arts products.
General Pencil’s six generations of family business bleeds over into its relationships with its workers and consumers. The company has managed to create a familial-like bond with its manufacturing employees, working closely with its unions to allow workers to maintain their own machines. In return, General Pencil’s workers create finely crafted products that meet the consumer’s finest needs.
From charcoal to pastel, General Pencil maintains a high standard of excellence. Many of the company’s machines have been maintained since the company’s inception in the 19th century, making their products one-of-a-kind.
Though their name isn’t as well known as others, General Pencil is an American standby. Its holds a rare combination of business values: U.S. manufacturing, close-knit familial ties, and emphasis on high-quality, specialized products.
You can shop our selection of General’s products here.