Monday, March 30, 2009

Today is ...

PENCIL DAY! Yeah, I know what you're thinking -- who knew? And even more so, who the heck comes up with this stuff? Interesting holiday, especially since I had this picture of Nathan with the pencils in his head to go with it. Pencils with erasers were created by Hymen Lipton in 1858, so they've been around for 151 years now. I guess when you get older, you use pencils less often. I know I did because I started using pens. But since I homeschool, pencils are a big deal at our house. I'm always on the lookout for good ones or finding them on sale. I just bought 2 packs at Target the other day in the dollar section. Glitter pencils are awesome for some reason.

Pencils go way back before Mr. Lipton ever put an eraser on one. Ancient Egyptians used pencils and so did the early Romans. The word pencil comes from the Latin word pencillus, which actually means little tail. There are all sorts of pencil varieties -- graphic, charcoal, carbon, colored, grease, etc. Click here to read more about pencils. I guess I'm just weird and find this stuff fascinating. I'm not the only one, at least. Thomas Edison had his pencils custom made. John Steinbeck used over 300 pencils to write East of Eden. Vincent van Gogh used pencils. Did your teachers in school ever give you a brand new pencil as a prize or gift? It's funny how something so simple made you feel so special. So anyway, in honor of today, go grab yourself a new pencil and remind yourself of how far this little instrument goes back and of all the wonderful things it has created. Kind of makes you think a little differently about something most people either take for granted, leave teeth marks in, or stick behind their ears. Okay, I've got to get back to school now -- I have pencils to sharpen!


  1. My favorite is the mechanical pencil. I just found a really cool one I want....


  2. Wow, I didn't know any of that. Learn something new everyday, especially here!! Thanks Rena.


  3. Interesting pencil facts Rena! My kids love getting new pencils, especially the glitter ones. We have a jar full of pencils for homework. Remember in grade school always needing a #2 pencil on state testing days? My kids come home from school with all kinds of pencils from their teachers. One got one from the principal that says, "Your principal is proud of you." We always check out the $1 section at Target for pencils.

  4. Happy Pencil Day everyone!

  5. I have behind my ear a "C.A.B./Utica, N.Y. No.2"
    I think I’ll take out on the town to celebrate

  6. Now I know why I've always liked John Steinbeck, he wrote in pencil. I write in pencil, always have, always will.

    Great minds think alike...heeheehee

  7. Love the pic what a cutey. Kim Kasch

  8. Pencil Day? Cool! Cute picture, too. I love pencils (pens too). Since I draw, I have tons of pencils around. There's nothing like a really good pencil.

    Lately I've been using the non-sharpening kind (easier to travel with). The ones that have a bunch of little leads that you pull out when they are flat and push into the bottom to get a new lead are cool.

    I have a new favorite mechanical pencil, too. They're Casoozles (Zebra brand). They have a really great lead and an eraser that actually works, not to mention the cool cartoons on the pencil.

    Thanks for telling us about Pencil Day!