Faber-Castell 250th Anniversary Celebrations

"Doing ordinary things extraordinarily well" — Faber-Castell company motto. 

Faber-Castell 250 YearsAs we arrived at our hotel even the receptionist was excited — practically falling over herself in her eagerness to hand us the welcome pack from Faber-Castell. We’d just arrived in Nuremberg, Germany, as guests of Faber-Castell on the evening before the celebrations on 8th July 2011 to mark 250 years since the founding of the company in 1761.

The next day we would be joining 5,000 other guests from all over the world to congratulate Count Anton W. von Faber-Castell and his company on their achievement. Our anticipation was tempered slightly by the inclusion in the welcome pack of Faber-Castell umbrellas. The evening was humid and threatening, and the main party tomorrow was to be outdoors. Sure enough, shortly after a refreshing al fresco landbier in the Hauptmarkt we retired to a nearby restaurant, the atmospheric Heilig-Geist-Spital, just as the heavens opened. A sustained and torrential downpour with an enthusiastic accompaniment of thunder and lightning. It was still raining Katzen and Hunde as we left and we thought of the poor Faber-Castell staff who would have been setting up the garden party that day.

The next day was fresher though still damp and grey, though the guests assembling after breakfast were in high spirits. Our hotel alone had guests from Bolivia, Peru, Korea, Japan, Czech Republic, France and the UK. As the first of the coaches arrived we found ourselves in the hands of Nicole, our designated escort for the event. Briskly marshalling the various nationalities, our German shepherd loaded us on board for the first event of the day at the Frankenhalle — the vast hall in the impressive CongressCenter Nuremberg.

Outside the Frankenhalle the excitement all around was palpable and we started to realise the scale of the event. Sixty countries were represented and the lead representatives of those were dressed in national costume. Everybody else was dressed somewhere between smartly and spectacularly. We accepted security passes, translation headsets and a glass of champagne and as we filed into the huge hall it felt like a cross between the Eurovision Song Contest and the Oscars.

Faber-Castell 250 - Welcome

Welcome messages were projected on an impressive 120m x 6m wrap-around screen and eventually the proceedings got underway. Tributes came in from German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel via a video screen, plus Dr. Günther Beckstein, the former Prime Minister of Bavaria, and Dr. Ulrich Maly, Mayor of Nuremberg. Count Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell, 8th generation of his family to lead the company, then gave a speech which was humble and inspirational.
Faber-Castell 250 - Count Anton W. von Faber-Castell
There followed a interesting programme covering the history of Faber-Castell, making good use of the whole of the giant screen. Fascinating stuff and far too much information to convey here but a key figure was Lothar von Faber, who in the mid-nineteenth century not only expanded and modernised the business, improved quality and secured valuable sole rights to high-quality Siberian graphite; he was also a pioneer and reformer in the areas of workers' welfare, social responsibility and education. He was elevated to the hereditary peerage for his efforts. The current CEO, Count Anton Wolfgang has continued in this vein — not only leading the brand strongly into the 21st century but doing so with a major commitment to international labour rights and environmental responsibility.

Faber-Castell 250 - Lasers
The history segued seamlessly into a spectacular laser show and the Count and his wife the Countess Mary took to the stage to a huge ovation. They were joined by their children and then by senior employees and finally by flag-bearers from the 60 countries. A rousing rendition of Queen's 'We Are The Champions' sung by an enthusiastic Malaysian manager concluded proceedings and we congregated outside in the (enormous) foyer for drinks and Nuremberg sausages. Fantastically, while we were in the hall the skies had cleared and the day was now officially gorgeous.

Faber-Castell 250 - Flags of 60 countriesNicole eventually ("I've lost Bolivia!") rounded us up and we were shipped back to our hotels to change into our party gear before being driven to the Faber Schloss for the evening's festivities. A stunning setting for a party: a beautiful and elegant castle, leafy grounds, huge gazebos to keep any weather off; pavilions representing each Faber-Castell manufacturing country; a big stage and a vast array of food and drinks tents. Sunshine + music + 5,000 happy people = a great time.

Highlights: The count's brother's eccentric performance on stage; scores of hyper-enthusiastic Malaysian employees; endless good German beer; a brilliant band; the British contingent's commitment to dancing to that band; a mesmerizing dance and light show after dark against the castle façade; fireworks; managing to keep going until 2am.

Faber-Castell 250 - Evening Party

And at 10:30am the next day they bussed us back again to give us brunch!

A wonderful time was had by all and huge thanks go to Count Anton and his staff for looking after everyone so well, and to Stone Marketing, the UK distributor for Faber-Castell, for taking us along for the ride.

We genuinely believe that Faber-Castell is a great company with committed people making superb products, all with a concern for social and environmental issues. Cult Pens is proud to be a leading online retailer for Faber-Castell in the UK, with the widest range of Faber-Castell writing and drawing products available anywhere.

PRIZE! To commemorate both Faber-Castell's 250th anniversary and our inaugural blog post, we'll give away a Faber-Castell goodie-bag including a couple of anniversary items to the author of a randomly-selected comment to this post. Thanks for reading.

UPDATE! We've scoured the office for the prize contents and have put together a box of great bits and pieces from Faber-Castell, including some smart Design range pens, lots of pens and pencils altogether worth well over £120. Then we added some cute 250th anniversary items begged and borrowed from Faber-Castell. The draw will close at midnight Thursday 28 July 2011 BST (that's British Summer Time folks). We'll announce a winner on Friday. Thanks for all the comments so far!

AND THE WINNER IS... Count the comments... go to random.org... the adjudicators confer... drum roll... hush descends... Comment #3 - Andrew! Plus special judges prize to Louise at Comment #1 for being the first comment and the most surreal. Trumpet fanfares and it's all over bar the shouting. Thanks to everyone who commented - we'll do it all again in 250 years.

15 July 2011

Comments

  • wayne e 3 July 2014
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    Great article about great products. Had no idea the company had been going so long.

  • Gunther 20 August 2011
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    Congratulations on your new blog – I am looking forward to reading it!

  • Staedtler Pencilmaker Set :: Cult Pens 17 August 2011
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    [...] recently covered the 250th anniversary celebrations of Faber-Castell, who have been making pencils in Nuremberg, Germany, since 1761. Nuremberg has played a major role [...]

  • Andrew 9 August 2011
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    I have received the blog prize , thank you. A wonderful box of goodies , I seemed to be opening packages for ages. Pens , pencils , sharpeners and erasers as well as some other faber castell stuff. The family already have their eye on some of the items. Thank you once again. All the best - andrew

  • Pushkin 7 August 2011
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    Just to record my appreciation for selling me a superb Kaweco product; and the efficiency with which you dealt with my order. PND.

  • jaycee2 6 August 2011
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    sounds like a wonderful occasion, how great! I sure wish I could go the next one :)

  • Wayde Tardif 1 August 2011
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    Really Love the FC products and love that you are so enthusiastic about writing equipment as well!!!!

  • Andrew 29 July 2011
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    Thank you for the e mail confirming the win - a great start to my holiday and the second win since school which was over 30years ago ! Thank you cult pens

  • Michael 28 July 2011
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    Welcome to the blogsphere.

  • Richard 28 July 2011
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    http://gravitar.com is widely used. Set up an account and you can map your email address[1] to an image of your own choosing – all without revealing your email address (it doesn't appear in the page content or script from cultpens.com, or sent to Gravitar: all done with cryptographic hashes). [1] Which reminds me... I've not done it for this email.

  • Lorraine 28 July 2011
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    Congrats on the blog and brilliant first post. Jealous I wasn't at the party, but you guys deserved the trip for your excellent service.

  • Richard 28 July 2011
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    I did think of writing something witty about feeding the need for an ever better (and new) pencil or pen. But I now forget. Instead I'll say I'm looking forward to more on the minutiæ of both existing and new writing instruments.

  • dave shaw 27 July 2011
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    I appreciate the high quality of faber-castell pencils: I draw pictures for the kids at school with them; I give them as surprise well dones/thank yous; I think they are one of the best inventions of all time! So congratulations and long may they inspire/sketch/draw/write/assist/please the generations to come :) Thank you.

  • Oliver 27 July 2011
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    Quality German products - really enjoy using the range.

  • Nicky Marinelli 27 July 2011
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    Sounds like a great trip - keeping all my fingers and toes crossed!

  • Vernon Lee 27 July 2011
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    I absolutely loved my first Faber-Castell pencils because it made me feel special, that no one else in my class had them! Happy 250th Anniversary Faber-Castell!

  • Jane Hare 27 July 2011
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    A marriage made in heaven - Faber-Castell pens & pencils and Cult Pens excellent service. My love affair with Faber-Castell pens & pencils began almost 50 years ago so we are about to celebrate our golden anniversary. Thank you to Faber-Castell for their wonderful writing instruments and here's to another 250 years - at least!

  • David Harrison 27 July 2011
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    Faber Castellated got my stationery bug started with their fantastic e-motion pencils. It would be churlish _not_ to wish them a very happy 250th anniversary!

  • Kareem 26 July 2011
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    Wow this sounds cool! Happy birthday... By the way I love the cool patterns next to each reply on the comments section!

  • Superpooky 26 July 2011
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    All that fuss over a pencil? Who can blame them...

  • Dries 26 July 2011
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    HAPPY 250TH BIRTHDAY FABER-CASTELL!!! I always loved Faber-Castell for their fountain pens wich are absolutely awesome, they are always perfectly made. I hope they keep making their products for another 250 years! (and off course i'd like to win this goodie bag !!!)

  • Anthony Jong 26 July 2011
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    Happy 250th anniversary Faber-Castell This is a great blog and Faber Castell fountain pens are one of my writing instrument that ever made. Cheers

  • Sam worm 26 July 2011
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    Super article, would love the goodie bag :-)

  • Antal 26 July 2011
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    Sounds like a wonderful party! Can I get some of those pens, too, please? ;)

  • Ken 26 July 2011
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    Nice article....love the cult pens site and would love to win the prize.

  • Sara 26 July 2011
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    Happy 250th Anniversary Faber-Castell! I am a huge stationery addict. Thank you for the chance to win ^^

  • Elizabeth 26 July 2011
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    A party full of pen and pencil enthusiasts - sounds like my dream come true!

  • Simon 26 July 2011
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    Wow, what a fantastic article for your first blog...I've read every word of it. Sounds like you had a great time. I have become a bit of an addict of your site...checking what's new on a regular basis, and I look forward to reading further blogs. When I was a kid my dad was a designer and only ever used Faber-Castell pencils...the house was full of them. I have fond memories of experimenting & trying all the different hardness grades. I recently bought a couple of the F-C Ambition fountain pens from you. How pleased I am - they are so excellent to write with, and come with their own storage box. I'd love to be selected for the goodie box - to maybe try something that I've not ordered before...! I love your range of products - Keep up the good work!

  • Cult Pens 26 July 2011
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    Just our appreciation, I'm afraid, Steven. Thanks for letting us know, though. Fixed.

  • Daniel 26 July 2011
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    250 years are quite a few... Think about how many pencils they must have made in that time!

  • Steven Wayne 26 July 2011
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    Your link to the Faber Castell page: http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/Faber-Castell.html is wrong, it should be: http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/Faber_Castell.html Does that win me a prize?

  • Erik 26 July 2011
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    Love Faber Castell products... they're the only ones I use for illustration work..

  • Julie leonard 26 July 2011
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    Sounds fab (although I now have "we are the champions" stuck in my head, an "ear worm" I think the Germans call that)! Damn you guys, having read this I'm now off to browse the Cult Pens site (repeats to self, must NOT spend any more at the moment...)

  • Stephen Hinckes 26 July 2011
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    Great blog,wish I was there. Congratulations Faber Castell and congratulations Cults pens for the fantasitc service you always provide.

  • Panny 26 July 2011
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    "Graf von who?....Faber Castell will do! ;0)"

  • Reuben Mathew 25 July 2011
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    250 years! Impressive. Most impressive!

  • Stuart Jackson 25 July 2011
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    Was there a Graf vo Faber Castell continent there as well?

  • Koen Ivens 25 July 2011
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    congratulations!

  • Margy D. 25 July 2011
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    It's 250 Well Done years, congratulations on all of your accomplishments.

  • Susmita 23 July 2011
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    Congrats on two and a half centuries of excellence! Great blog, by the way :)

  • Steve 23 July 2011
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    Great website for pen addicts. Nowhere else comes close.

  • Noam 23 July 2011
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    Congrats!

  • Jamie Davies 23 July 2011
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    Looks like a great time! Hoping for random selection!

  • Matt 22 July 2011
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    250 years? wow contratulations!

  • Akis 21 July 2011
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    I love faber-castell. The 9000 pencil is the best in the market. Happy anniversary and good luck to everyone

  • Paul Boulter 21 July 2011
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    I really thought that I was the only lonely pen fanatic around - so good to see that there are so many of us around! Thanks to Cult Pens for feeding my addiction!

  • Hat Stand 21 July 2011
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    I'm random, select me.

  • Shirley Goodwin 21 July 2011
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    I've come to this website via a local NZ website, that of a fellow knitter and yarn lover who also loves good writing implements. As a mature arts student, living in the South Island of New Zealand, I'm also interested in aesthetically pleasing materials. I already use your pencils for drawing, would like to know more about your other products.

  • Ian 20 July 2011
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    Randomly selected, eh? Well, I wouldn't mind some goodies, to see if they can sway me from my Cretacolor pencils!

  • hlib 20 July 2011
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    Hm, they are from the same town where head office of my company (GfK) is located :)

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