I bet you did not know that teachers originally wanted erasers on pencils outlawed. They thought that erasers on pencils would only encourage students to be careless and make more mistakes because they were able to erase and redo any wrong work. Getting it right the first time was more important that a second chance at correcting the work.
Lipmen, the person who applied for and received the first patent for a pencil with an eraser on the end, crated a prototype which included a 2-3 inch slot cut into the end of a pencil shaft. The shaft was then filled with a piece of Rubber, usually from India. It was held into place with glue. The rubber of early erasers was also sharpened for those who needed a very detailed change on something like a blue print of for mathematicians.
In recent years pencils have made a huge comeback in terms of both use and popularity. With the advent of cross words puzzles and the recent Sudoku craze in western cultures, pencils now more than ever are as useful and need in our society. In fact The Independent of London recently reposted that pencil sales increased by 700% in the world market. This was attributed to the Sudoko craze.
Crossword puzzles are just as popular as other trivia and games that require a pencil. The New York Times boast the largest partakers in their cross word puzzle than any other national publication. The famed editor Will Shortz, said that pencils with erasers are the preferred method of solving crossword puzzles. Although he is a pen user he stated that pencils are “more tactilely satisfying” for many people.
It seems most folks who cherish crossword puzzles prefer the paper and pencil method to the online method. Many images of a crossword puzzle and a hot cup of coffee come to mind on a crisp fall day. “It’s easier to look at an entire puzzle on one page,” he said, which the online version doesn’t allow. As for those paper puzzlers, “Most people don’t have enough confidence to use pen,” Shortz said.
The history of the pencil dates back to the early part of civilization. Greek scribes used metal styluses and wrote into papyrus parchment. It was not until a large deposit of graphite was discovered in England during the 16th century that wood cased pencils became the writing instrument of choice.
Pencils became massed produced in Germany around 1662. Germany dominated the production of pencils up until the Second World War. When England the US stopped importing pencils form Germany and began producing pencils them. As you can see the pencil and the eraser have been used for recording history and just plain fun. A pencil personalized is just one offshoot of all the great uses of pencils.