After the Eberhard Faber Company closed its doors for good, I wondered what might have happened to the factory itself. The company relocated in 1956 from Brooklyn to a place called Mountain Top in Pennsylvania:
Photo: Luzerne County Historical Society
In 1986, two years before Eberhard Faber was sold to Faber-Castell, some of its departments moved to Nogales, Mexico. This helps to explain why the “U.S.A.” was missing from, for example, certain Blackwing pencils:
But this also allows for the most precise dating for certain Blackwings so far: to within two years. It’s reasonable to say then that if you have a Blackwing or other Eberhard Faber pencil that is missing “U.S.A.”, and/or has “assembled in Mexico” on the packaging, then it was likely made between 1986 and 1988.
At the time of the sale, Faber-Castell’s facilities were based in Lewisburg, Tennessee, but I don’t know if the Mountain Top facility might have been used at least a little while after the sale. The building had been owned by a company called Poseidon Pools up until 1998, but in 2010 it was demolished.
Who knows, perhaps back in the mid-1980s the Eberhard Faber Company could have been saved, or at least helped by, a benefit concert of some sort. They could have asked Bob Geldof to put it together; it looks like there was plenty of room to set up a backline in the parking lot. And they could have called it, oh I don’t know, Pencilaid or something.