The history of pencils

In 1795 a scientist named Nicholas-Jacques Conte invented the modern-day pencil however it is believed that the Aztecs used it as a form of marker for hundreds of years before. “The grey pencil” is made of pure carbon called graphite and was discovered in Europe around the beginning of the 15th Century. Originally pencils were manufactured using the process of heating a mixture of graphite, water and clay and then the liquid was bound together in a wooden case. Pencils were designed for specific uses, each with a different shape and hardness/softness to accommodate the user. Writing pencils are harder, whereas pencils for drawing and finer arts are at times softer.

There are as many as 20 different grades of pencils sold today. Each grading indicating the hardness or softness of the lead and the darkness of the pencil.

This was the beginning of a writing revolution that soon boomed into a collection of various kinds of grey pencils coloured pencils.

Coloured pencils were brought to the world around 1924 for use in the art world. Coloured pencils are encased in a wood casing just like the grey pencil however they are made of pigments, binding agents, wax and various pigments. Coloured pencils can be water-soluble or oil-based, and you have definitely added to our ability to create art no matter our age.

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