Author Archives: Sean

Mongol Musings

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Jeff Andrews

Bassist Jeff Andrews has died, aged 58. I remember, decades ago, hearing the word “swunk” (a combination of “swing” and “funk”) for the first time. It was from Jeff Andrews who was describing the feel of Jaco’s playing on The Dry … Continue reading

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A New Draft

A new cover idea: Several Eberhards Faber: A general timeline: The early years: The mills of Cedar Keys, Florida: Origins of the “Diamond Star” logo: The occasional nib and leadholder: An extraordinary pencil: The History of the Lead Pencil by … Continue reading

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About that Eberhard Faber factory fire in 1872…

In a previous post titled Beware The Dry House, I noted several fires that occurred at two Eberhard Faber Company factories. But the most well-known fire occurred at the first factory, which opened in 1861 and burned to the ground … Continue reading

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Theory and Practice (4)


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Eberhard Faber: Rough Draft

“Rough draft” might be too generous. It’s more like a “rough compilation”—396 pages so far, with at least as many to go. This copy is a one-off. Toward the beginning is the Faber family tree I’ve cobbled together, though it’s … Continue reading

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The Paper Seahorse

Tucked away in Tampa’s SoHo district is the city’s only independent stationery store, The Paper Seahorse. I went for my first visit today. The store bills itself as a ‘Paperie and Makerie.’ There was a large selection of items, arranged … Continue reading

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Graf von Faber-Castell: 25 Years of the Perfect Pencil

Graf von Faber-Castell is celebrating 25 years of their Perfect Pencil line with a limited edition, restricted to 750 pieces. There have been many iterations of the Perfect Pencil, many of which you can read about at PencilTalk, but here are … Continue reading

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“Still occasions arise when a woman must sharpen a lead pencil.”

From The American Stationer, 1889. Words would just spoil it, so: (Thrusting? Moistening? Did I pick up the wrong magazine again?)

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Caution! A.W. Faber’s Lead Pencils.

The counterfeiting of pencils could be a lucrative trade, especially during the 19th century when laws protecting international trademarks and patents had yet to be written. Such was the case for A.W. Faber, whose growing presence and reputation in the … Continue reading

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