I’ve written before about the Diamond Star logo of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Co., and have tried to ascertain its origins. A star is a very common symbol, though there are a variety of types (mainly having to do with the number of points). With regard to heraldry, a star can be a sign of providence from above, represent an achievement or important event, and just about everything else in between.
The name Faber is an occupational name (in Latin it means “smith”, and whose stem can be found in words such as fabric and fabricator etc.), so it’s wholly appropriate that the original logo of the Eberhard Faber Co. had two six-pointed stars above a worker with a hammer:
The design is an extract from the larger Faber family crest in Germany, imbuing the logo with a metaphorical quality: the breaking-off of a small portion of the Faber family, who departed Germany to represent the family concern in the New World. But by the end of the 19th century, the American Fabers would find themselves embroiled in years-long legal difficulties with their German relatives (see: War Between the Fabers).
The early part of the twentieth century saw the conclusion of the lawsuits, which went all the way to the Bavarian courts, but it was the Eberhard Faber Co. who was required to make some changes—such as the stamping of their products with “Eberhard Faber” instead of “E. Faber”. But rather than taking the legal decision as a setback, Lothar Washington Faber and Eberhard Faber II (both sons of the first Eberhard Faber) saw it as an opportunity: to forge ahead with a comprehensive change in the company’s identity as an independent and innovative pencil manufacturer in the United States. Part of that change in identity required a new company logo, which is where the Diamond Star enters the story.
What inspired the design? I haven’t found any original notes or sketches yet that answer the question. But during a recent visit to the home of Eberhard Faber IV, I came across a handwritten entry in the company minutes from November 15, 1905, indicating the very day the Diamond Star was born: