The four superlative pencils:
When it comes to pencils, the world's largest manufacturer of wood-cased pencils can come up with all kinds of superlatives. It all began with the oldest pencil in the world, which adorns the permanent historical exhibition in Faber-Castell's Castle in Stein, Germany. During renovation work to a house in the Swabian region of Germany, this unusual pencil was discovered in the roof joists. Obviously, the carpenter had forgotten about it being there. Because the building was very old, dating back to the 17th century, the pencil remained unnoticed in its hiding place for centuries. The pencil, which was made of rough limewood, glued together, bears marks of use which confirm its great age. It is therefore the oldest example of a pencil known to us today.
Just in time for our 240th anniversary in 2001, we added the most expensive pencil to our superlative collection. The solid white gold cap of magnum size is crowned with three fine-quality diamonds. The limited edition of only 99 pieces was a highlight of the anniversary year 2001.
The third pencil, which was even entered in the Guinness Book of Records, is difficult to display or even transport: The largest pencil in the world was placed in a glass tower on the occasion of the factory inauguration in Malaysia and measures 19.75 meters. Today, it is an attraction for visitors to the Asian branch, which, incidentally, is considered the world's largest producer of erasers.
Where the biggest one is, the smallest pencil should not be missing: it is 17.5 mm short and about 3 mm thin, made of North American spruce and with a genuine graphite lead (0.5 mm diameter). It is just a tenth of the length of a normal pencil. For the opening ceremony of the Malaysian production site in 2001, it was specially manufactured in Germany and ceremoniously handed over by the management. Anyone who actually wants to write with it, rather than just keep it to admire, will probably need tweezers to hold it.
The "super pencil" is an expression of a high quest for quality that, according to CEO Daniel Rogger, has been anchored in the traditional Faber-Castell company for centuries. “Since Lothar von Faber laid down binding quality standards for pencils in the 19th century, all the following generations had the claim to continue producing the best products,” says Rogger. “The motto proclaimed by Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell back then, to do ordinary things extraordinarily well, is still one of our core values. This is reflected in the high productivity but also in the healthy striving for uniqueness – as demonstrated in these pencil curiosities.
The oldest, smallest and most expensive pencil is frequently on tour, providing a lot of material for discussion worldwide at press and trade events in Lima, Milan, Athens and Dresden. The exhibits can also be seen in the Faber-Castell castle when they aren’t touring. The company museum is open every third Sunday of the month from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
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