We take pride in using age-old techniques that have been handed down through six generations to produce high-quality pencils and art supplies. Our company’s history began in 1860 when Edward Weissenborn established the American Lead Pencils Co. in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was a mechanical engineer and inventor who obtained 28 patents for improved equipment and procedures used in the production of 360 distinct types of pencils. In 1885, 2 sold the business to the Reckford family. In 1889, he and his son Oscar launched the pencil exchange in Jersey City, New Jersey. which afterward adopted the generic pencil company as its name.

Clay and grapʜɪᴛe chunks are arranged inside a sizable revolving drum. The clay and grapʜɪᴛe are ground into a fine powder inside the drum by the large boulders. The mixture is then mixed in the drum for up to three days after the addition of water. The combination is put through a machine to remove all the water, leaving a grey sludge left. The sludge is placed in this cabinet and lets air dry and solidify for four days. The ᴅᴇᴀᴅ sludge is ground into yet further fine powder by enormous wheels, and water is then added once again to create a soft paste.

A metal tube is used to push the paste, which emerges as thin rods. The rods are divided into leads, or bits as long as pencils, and placed on a conveyor belt to dry. Following drying, pencil leads are placed in an oven set to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The smooth and firm leads that result from the extreme heat make for superb writing points. The wood is prepared in an additional area of the plant. Wide slats of renewable black cedar wood were produced by machines. Each slat has eight thin grooves sᴀᴡᴇd into its length.

One pencil lead is inserted into each of the eight grooves after the slats have been coated with a thin layer of adhesive. The leads are sandwiched by another broad grooved slat that is bonded on top in a matter of seconds. The slats are run through a cutting machine after the glue cures. One side at a time, quickly rotating steel blades cut the wood into rounded or hexagonal shapes. Each slat is divided into eight individual pencils by the same machine. Each pencil is painted with five to eight coats of paint after being sanded.

The firm name and a number, like the number 2, are imprinted in foil or painted on the pencil by a heated metal stamp. The number represents the pencil lead’s hardness. One end of the pencil is tightly encircled by a ferrule, a metal band. The eraser is being applied here, and it holds it. The pencils can then be used, packed, and sharpened.

Let’s see modern Continuous manufacturing processes – How pencils are made in a factory in the amazing video below.

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Video resource: NaLac Technique