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Originally knives were used to sharpen pencils, until French mathematician Bernard Lassimone applied for a patent on the pencil sharpener in 1828. Nearly two decades later, another Frenchman, Therry des Estwaux, invented the first manual pencil sharpener. John Lee Love of Fall River, Massachusetts designed the Love Pencil Sharpener in 1897. The history of the pencil sharpener starts with Love's design, which was originally intended for use by artists. Love patented the design for his pencil sharpeners on November 23, 1897. He started a revolution that would lead to the invention of mechanical pencil sharpeners and electric pencil sharpeners. In the 1940s Hammacher Schlemmer offered electric pencil sharpeners designed by Raymond Loewy. AC Gilbert's electric motor made the modern plug-in and battery-powered pencil sharpeners possible.
In general battery-operated electric pencil sharpeners are more versatile, since they're portable. Two brands highly rated by consumers are the Stanley Contemporary Electric Pencil Sharpener, which is battery operated, and for stationary use in office or home office, the Boston School Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener. While dealing with plugs and AA batteries might be more complicated than using mechanical pencil sharpeners, battery-operated pencil sharpeners offer convenience. Fans of the history of the pencil sharpener may like an antique pencil sharpener, but very few antique electric pencil sharpeners exist, even on EBay.
In the history of the pencil sharpener, pencil sharpeners have required various spare parts. The most common spare parts for your mechanical pencil sharpeners are mounting clamps, handles, and cutter and carrier assemblies. For your electric pencil sharpener, you'll need replacement batteries. Be sure to keep your electric and mechanical sharpeners clean and you won't often need to buy spare parts. You can buy sharpener spare parts from office supply, art and writing stores.
Cleaning shavings from pencil sharpeners is a constant whether you use electric pencil sharpeners or mechanical pencil sharpeners. In the history of the pencil sharpener, no one has invented a self-cleaning sharpener. With an electric pencil sharpener, you need to remove and empty the shaving tray. Wipe off the pencil sharpener shaving tray with a paper towel or soft cloth. Keep your electric pencil sharpener so that it will operate smoothly and continuously.
If you have an antique electric pencil sharpener, count yourself a lottery winner. If not, you can still sell your mechanical pencil sharpeners for a pretty penny and buy fine writing instruments. Fans of the history of the pencil sharpener enjoy owning antique pencil sharpeners. You can choose an antique auctioneer, but the way to go is EBay. EBay currently has 34 antique pencil sharpeners listed.
Mechanical pencil sharpeners are not, strictly speaking, for mechanical pencils, any more than electric pencil sharpeners are meant for electric pencils! A Mechanical pencils are called self-sharpening pencils. A mechanical pencil sharpener may be a handheld pencil sharpener like the small plastic kind you often see. There are also stationary crank-operated pencil sharpeners that attach to a wall. You turn the crank on the pencil sharpener to sharpen your pencils. With a smaller hand-held pencil sharpener, a firm grip with one hand and a constant twist motion with the other are all you need.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|