“A.W. Faber’s New Drawing Pencil”

CasellLogo

What does the beginning of a legacy (or perhaps a dynasty) look like?

A.W. Faber Polygrade pencils were by all accounts of unprecedented quality and very popular. They eventually gave way to a new range though—the now-familiar “Castell” line of pencils—in 1905/6. It’s quite remarkable when you consider that the new proprietor of A.W. Faber at that time (Count Alexander of Castell-Rüdenhausen) had no experience in pencil-making, yet the line he helped to launch continues to be a best-seller more than 100 years on.

The following notices all come from the same 1907 issue of The American Stationer, announcing the new “Castell” pencils. First is a description of the new pencils, including the switch from sourcing Siberian and English mines to availing themselves of chemistry for the purpose of purifying clay and graphite:

FaberNewPencil

The advertisements were placed by the American branch of the company, who were likely responsible for this ‘poem’:

CastellPoem

Then a glance at the first version of the Castell pencil:

CastellDrawingPencil

Last was this repetition of the ad copy:

CastellAd

To a contemporary reader these advertisements may have gotten no more notice than did those for Hardtmuth’s Koh-I-Noor, Staedtler’s Lumograph, Tombow’s MONO, or Eberhard Faber’s Mongol, etc. So it’s interesting to look backward and to consider what it was about these or any other of the “legacy” pencils that set them apart from countless—and now forgotten—others.

DSCF2102

This entry was posted in Pencils and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s