Pens & Pencils Trivia

When we think about it, most of us will have a favourite type of pen or pencil that we always go back to or can't write without. But how much do we actually know about the writing instruments we use or how they originated? With that thought pressed in our minds, it is time to go on a journey of enlightenment as we supply you with an arsenal of facts and figures that you can use to impress fellow pen lovers around the world.

First, the humble pencil:

Did you know...

  • The pencil was invented in 1594 England, when a large graphite deposit was found in Borrowdale, Cumbria
  • The term 'lead pencil' was coined incorrectly because of the way graphite looked and acted like lead
  • The oldest surviving pencil dates from the 17th centuryPencils
  • The word pencil comes from the Latin Penicillus, which translates as 'little tail'
  • Thomas Edison had his pencils specially made thicker than the standard versions available
  • The average pencil can write up to 45,000 words
  • The largest pencil in the world reaches 76ft and was created by Ashrita Furman. The second largest belongs to Faber-Castell and is located in Malaysia
  • The longest pencil in the world belongs to Staedtler and measures 225.2 metres long
  • Around one million pencils are used annually on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
  • There are around 14 billion pencils manufactured worldwide every year
  • The section of exposed shaved wood just above a pencil's writing point is called the collar
  • The smallest pencil in the world was made by Faber-Castell and is only 17.5mm in length

And now the pen:

Did you know... 

  • The word pen comes from the Latin Pinna, meaning feather. A reference to the feathers that were used to make quill pens
  • The phrase 'The pen is mightier than the sword' was coined in 1839 by English author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton for his play Richelieu, Or the conspiracyPens
  • America's Declaration of Independence was written using an eagle feather quill pen
  • Quill pens were used to write the Magna Carta
  • The term "pen-knife" originated from the special knife that was used to sharpen the quill before writing.
  • The ballpoint pen was invented in 1938 by Hungarian journalist Laszlo Jozsef Biro
  • The first fountain pen was invented by L. E. Waterman in 1883
  • It is called a "fountain pen" because the nib receives a continuous flow of ink from the reservoir or cartridge - which acts as the "fountain."
  • In 1831, John Jacob Parker claimed the copyright for the original self-filling fountain pen
  • The most expensive pen ever made is the Diamante by Aurora estimated at US$1.3 million. While the second most expensive pen is the Mystery Masterpiece fountain pen by Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels, costing a cool US$730,000
  • Apparently, when offered a new pen to test out, 97% of people will write their own name (Do you do this? Worth trying out on someone to see if it is true?)

In our investigations we also came across two examples of just what can be done using only pens and pencils. Firstly, check out these amazing pencil drawings from UK artist Kelvin Okafor and you can be forgiven for thinking they are photographs. Secondly, in this video, Miguel Endara uses only one pen and 3.1 million ink dots to create an amazing family portrait.

So there you have it! While we are sure there are plenty more facts and figures out there, the above are a collection of what we thought were some of the more interesting ones.

Do you agree? If you know of any other interesting or amusing pen/pencil based trivia why not highlight them below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The two facts that enlighten us the most will win either a pack of V5 or V7 Hi-TECPOINT Cartridge System pens in the colours highlighted below (4 pens). The winners will be announced on the 20th February 2013 in the comment box below and sent either a pack of V5 or V7 pens. Good luck fact finding... (Competition now closed - Thanks for all your facts!)

Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint

13 February 2013

Comments

  • Cult Pens 20 February 2013
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    Hi Melissa, Congratulations, you have won a pack of Pilot Cartridge System pens! Please email sales@cultpens.com with your name and address and we will get the pens on their way to you. Thanks, Cult Pens

  • Cult Pens 20 February 2013
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    Hi Paul, Congratulations, you have won a pack of Pilot Cartridge System pens! Please email sales@cultpens.com with your name and address and we will get the pens on their way to you. Thanks, Cult Pens

  • Cult Pens 20 February 2013
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    Over the past week we have received some interesting and enlightening facts and it is now time to announce the winners of the V5 and V7 Cartridge System pens. Drum roll please! The winners are... Melissa Polkey for highlighting that the worldwide popularity of Sudoku increased pencil sales by 700% in 2005/2006 and Paul for introducing us to the art of pen mawashi (or pen spinning). Congratulations! We will be in touch to get the pens on their way to you. Thanks to everyone that entered!

  • wolfy 15 February 2013
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    I love this!

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