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The “lead pencil,” containing no lead, was invented in 1564, a turning point in pencil history. Although civilizations were centuries away from making mechanical pencil history, the pencil invented in the sixteenth century advanced the writing instrument. Before 1564, artists mainly used stylus-like pencils. The history of the pencil owes a dept to the discovery of a graphite mine in Cumbria, England. Artisans sawed the graphite into sheets and cut the “black lead” into rods that were then inserted into hand-carved wooden holders. In the history of pencils, England first had a monopoly on the manufacture of pencils until France and Germany joined the trend.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|