The nasty truth about pencils

“No one is perfect- that’s why pencils have erasers…”

Wolfgang Riche

We all wrote with lead pencils before we were trusted with ink. We were however lied to. They were not lead pencils, but rather graphite. Graphite is soft crystalline form of pure carbon. Naturally occurring graphite was rare and valuable. So valuable that from Roman times softened lead was the preferred writing tool. Around 1565 things changed. An enormous deposit of graphite was discovered near Borrowdale, in the Lake District of England. Enough was present for local manufacturers, such as Derwent, to begin encasing splinters of the find in wood wrapped with dried sheepskin. These were prized by artists for sketching, particularly outdoors. #idontalwaysuseink #letsmakelemonade

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