4 Pencil Sets to Sharpen Up Your Writing Game March 30, 2018 15:03

March 30th is National Pencil Day! Today is the original word processor’s 160th birthday. For this special occasion, we have four pencil-and-pouch sets and four fun pencil facts. Let’s get sharp!

1. For the Puzzler

On this day in 1858, The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for the modern pencil to H. Lipman. It’s estimated that the average pencil can write for 35 miles, but this has never been tested and recorded. Will you be the first?

If your idea of a perfect Sunday is opening up the paper and stretching your mind, this Crossword Mechanical Pencil is for you! It writes in bold lead and come with easy-to-use refills.Store it in an NYPL Vintage Stamp Pouch, brightly colored and stamped with the Library’s vintage logo.

2. For the NYPL Enthusiast

The origin of the word “pencil” is hazy: in Middle English, the word pencel means “artist’s brush.” It was borrowed from Old French pincel or peincel, related to Modern French peinture, or “painting.” The French inherited the word from the Latin penicillus, for “little tail.”

For Library Lovers, check out our Pencil Quote Set from the NYPL Wise Words collection. With reading-related quotes by great authors and thinkers, it’s the perfect way to show off your love for libraries. They go perfectly with our What Are You Reading Now? Pouch, a black-and-white design that will never go out of style— just like pencils!

3. For the Big Apple Traveler

According to Pencils.com, pencils are yellow because of the emergence of Siberian graphite, which became the standard in pencil design. Manufacturers associated 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.

City lovers and city dwellers, this is the pencil set for you! The NYC Pencil Set includes 10 pencils decorated with the icons of the city, like the Rockefeller Center, yellow taxis, and more! Keep them safe in a Statue of Liberty Pouch, decorated with the Empire and Chrysler Buildings.

4. For the Artist

Authors like John Steinbeck and E.B. White favored a very specific pencil: the Palomino Blackwing Set. Designed in the 1930s by Eberhard Faber, it was the pencil of choice for Oscar, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize winners throughout the 20th century. Its dark and classic design is timeless, and after it was discontinued in the 1990s, fans began paying as much as $40 per pencil to seize unused stock! (Our set is much more affordable.)

Another timeless design, the NYPL-stamped Leather Envelope Pouch is handmade in Italy, and can double as a clutch or case for all your writing utensils.

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