National Pencil Day – March 30, 2022

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WedMar 30

National Pencil Day is on March 30 and it is the perfect moment to explore these old writing tools. Did you know that one pencil can write up to 45,000 words? Pencils have been used for ages, and have gone through many changes in terms of their design, but have you ever wondered who came up with the brilliant idea of attaching an eraser to a pencil? Well, Hymen Lipman was the man behind this great discovery and was responsible for making our lives easier. We celebrate this day to honor this superb creation.

History of National Pencil Day

Who would have thought that a graphite core closed inside a wooden casing could perform such numerous and extremely important tasks? 

Pencils are one of the first writing tools and they are known to have originated in Europe in the 16th century. Pencils were created when a large graphite deposit was found in England. People began using a piece of graphite wrapped in a string to write. Later on, wood-encased pencils were created. Germany gave birth to the mass-production of pencils, with companies like Faber-Castell, Staedtler, and Lyra that produced pencils in bulk. In Massachusetts, the Dixon Ticonderoga Company began manufacturing pencils in the 19th century. 

By the late 19th century, pencils were widely being used in the U.S. The most famously used wood for pencils was red cedar because of its aroma and quality. On March 30, 1858, Hymen Lipman got his first patent for attaching an eraser to a pencil, which he later sold to Joseph Reckendorfer for $100,000. 

Since then, the manufacturing of pencils hasn’t stopped and there are billions of pencils being made and sold around the world. There are so many types of pencils including graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, grease pencils, and watercolor pencils.

National Pencil Day timeline

Early 1500s
Large Deposit of Graphite

A large reserve of graphite is discovered in England, which is extremely solid and can be carved into sticks.

1560
Italian Couple Makes Carpentry Pencils

An Italian couple creates pencils that look almost like modern wood-encased carpentry pencils.

1662
New Pencils

A new form of pencils is created using graphite, sulfur, and antimony in Germany.

1858
Hymen Lipman Receives a Patent

Hymen Lipman receives his first patent for attaching an eraser to a pencil.

National Pencil Day FAQs

Who invented the modern pencil?

The modern pencils were created by Nicholas-Jaques Conte in 1795.

What was used before pencils?

A Roman writing instrument called a stylus was used to write before pencils were made. This instrument left a mark that was light but could be seen on the papyrus easily.

Did pencils always have lead?

This is a common misconception. Lead has actually never been used in lead pencils but, in fact, graphite.

National Pencil Day Activities

  1. Draw a picture without picking up your pencil

    This fun activity is for all artists and non-artists. Draw a picture without picking up your pencil from the paper. You can even draw a picture without looking at the paper.

  2. Give a plant some support

    Small plants usually need some support while growing. If you have a small plant at home, you can give it some support by tying a pencil to it.

  3. Create your own customized pencils

    Get your own customized pencils with your name on them or any funny phrase written on them. There are many ways in which you can get them made. Search the internet for the best customized pencil supplier in your area.

5 Interesting Facts About Pencils

  1. Pencils are long-lasting

    One pencil can draw a line measuring up to 45 miles.

  2. They can be used in unusual circumstances

    Pencils can write underwater and in zero gravity too.

  3. They’re in high demand

    Almost 14 billion pencils are produced in a year.

  4. Color indicates quality

    Pencils in the U.S are painted yellow to indicate the best quality pencils.

  5. The name has French roots

    The term ‘pencil’ is taken from the French word ‘pincel.’

Why We Love National Pencil Day

  1. To explore pencils

    National Pencil Day is a great day to explore the history of pencils and educate yourself about how and where these writing tools are made.

  2. Celebrate Hymen Lipman’s creation

    On this day, people celebrate the wonderful discovery of Hymen Lipman — his idea of attaching an eraser to a pencil was simply marvelous!

  3. Pencils are useful for everyone

    Pencils are used by everyone, from toddlers to artists — everyone needs a pencil. We celebrate this day to honor this essential tool that assists us in many of our writing tasks.

National Pencil Day dates

YearDateDay
2021March 30Tuesday
2022March 30Wednesday
2023March 30Thursday
2024March 30Saturday
2025March 30Sunday