Sunday, March 30, 2014

How Many Pencil;s Do You Have?

In my makeup drawer and on my desk---Pencils!

Let’s all celebrate the creation of the pencil!

I use them every day.  To help my face, I have one to line eyes, another to color brows, and one to contour lips. 

You wouldn’t want to see me in the morning before I use these pencils.

I have the popular number two pencil at my desk to jot notes.  Sometimes I write grocery lists, and other moments I make notes about a novel in progress. A pencil sharpener sits nearby to keep pencils ready to write.

This wonderful device was created over 150 years ago, and with it, came the tool for the common man to communicate.

It’s Hymn Lipman’s brainchild. He gave us the first pencil with an eraser on March 30, 1858, and wow! Was that ever a handy-dandy invention?  You betcha it was. Back in school days, where would I have been without that little gadget at the end?  My teachers would have used a lot more of her red pencil if I hadn’t had an eraser option.

We call them lead pencils but in truth they are graphite, a form of carbon.  By the time humans learned our pencils were made with carbon, it was too late.  The name “Lead Pencil” remained wedged in our minds.

We take pencils for granted, but how are they made?

When a tree destined to become a pencil reaches the minimum age of fourteen years, it is eligible to be felled and cut into logs for writing devices.  None of the tree is wasted. Left over lumber, leaves and roots are left to fertilize the earth.

Logs are cut into small slats, and these are treated to become dry and soft.  Without this procedure, pencils couldn’t be sharpened.

Within the slat, a groove is carved to fit the carbon, or lead.  The coloring, carbon, and glue go into the slat. Then another slat is placed on top to make a sandwich.  After going through a heat process, the two slats meld into one. 

The product is then cut to the desired length and packaged to sell.

Let’s give a round of applause for the everyday
 pencil! It’s a good thing to celebrate.

Where would these books be without a pencil?


Gay N. Lewis
Sarah: A Mission of Love
Sarah: Laney's Angel
Sarah and the Widow's Mate

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