I admit that I don’t know very much about “layout” pencils except to say that they often have large and soft cores, allowing artists and editors to quickly sketch ideas. One of the most popular it seems was the Eagle Draughting 314, which became the Berol 314, then the Sanford 314, then ultimately General’s 314 (I may not have the order correct). Other well-known layout or “sketching” pencils include those from Blaisdell and the Eberhard Faber Ebony pencil. But one I haven’t heard as much about is the A.W. Faber Lay Out 2526.
Some preliminary searching turned up an article from 1948 which stated that the 2526 was being made again (perhaps it can be inferred that the Second World War interrupted their production). However, I don’t know when they were discontinued; if they haven’t been available for a long time, that may be the reason they aren’t as frequently mentioned. It’s an extraordinary pencil, though.
I don’t have a sharpener with a large enough aperture so I took to knife-sharpening, but this pencil is so large and there is so much wood that it seemed more like whittling than sharpening. The lead core, even compared with other layout pencils, is very large:
From left-to-right: Eagle Draughting 314, Eberhard Faber Ebony, Faber-Castell Castell 9000 Jumbo, A.W. Faber Lay Out 2526.
The core of the 2526 is about 7 mm, as much as the entire diameter of the 314. The lead, to me at least, seems much smoother than the 314 or the Ebony, and it wears less quickly than you might think given how soft it seems.
The label should be a clue as to their age, though I don’t currently have anything to compare it against; I’m guessing the 1950s.