When Was the Pencil Invented?


Quick Answer

The pencil was first invented in Borrowdale, England, in the mid-1500s. Early pencils were not encased in wood, but were actually fragile rods of graphite that had to be strengthened by a string casing. Craftsmen eventually began to fashion hand-carved wooden cases to hold the graphite.

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Full Answer

A crude method for attaching wooden slats to graphite was developed in Nuremburg, Germany, and mass production of pencils began there in 1662. In 1795, Frenchman Nicholas Jacques Conte received a patent for his formula to strengthen graphite by adding clay. William Monroe of Concord, Mass. is credited with production of the first American wooden pencil in the 1800s.

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