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Everything begins with a Pencil . . . . (PART I)
By Harshad Raveshia
you believe, without my presence in your life, you could never have reached
this page to read this column & write & share your comments!! I am the
basic ‘tool’ for the development of Human skills and ability!! I never boast, I
say the truth, share all facts and if anything that ever stated wrong, I erase
that with the ‘eraser’ at my second ‘end’!
I am your most closest and confidential friend “Pencil…”
we go much deeper in me, let me explain you few facts about myself!! Here I
present brief introduction of myself with my components!!
Inner ‘Core’ known as “lead”
used for writing or drawing work is not at all LEAD, it is composition of
Graphite (or Colour Pigments), Clay & Binder, mixed, compressed, extruded,
dried & backed at 850` C.
casing of ‘WOOD’ is done by fixing ‘lead’ in 2 ‘halves’ of wood.
making is considered as greatest achievement of 16th Century
followed by time to time development and up-gradation of manufacturing
Century is marked with ‘Golden Letters’ in history of Pencil as the modern
process of manufacturing modern ‘lead’ in France by Nicholas Jacques Cont’e.
Cedar is most preferred wood for making best quality Pencils.
Pencil can draw 35 miles long line and can write 45000 words with having
sharpened 17 times!!
name came from Old French Word “Pincel” (Small Paint Brush) which derived from
old Latin word “Penicillus” by meaning as ‘small tail’!!
of all western countries were having their own technology for encasing ‘lead’
in to wooden barrel up to mid 1850, after this all countries followed German
Designed Mechanical Process which is still followed with more automation.
making being highly labour oriented process, most of all pioneer countries of
‘Pencil Origin’ have stopped or reduced this activities and have migrated to
Asian Countries where labour force is economical!!
China is the largest producer of Pencils followed by India, Brazil, Indonesia
few days back, a group of students from ‘Fountain Head School’ Surat came to my
Master Harshad Raveshia. They were keen to see the process of Pencil making and
nearly 200 students were shooting question to my master and my master was
hardly able to reply few questions!! So I decided to go to the assistance of my
master and replied and solved all quarries and curiosity of all!! And here is
encased in Wood”
In 1565, a huge storm uprooted a big Pine Tree near
Keswick Town in Borrowdale Province of England and after the storm was over the
natives of that area found deposits of “Black Bright Material” which could
leave ‘Black Mark’ on any surface. This was used to mark ‘SHIPS’ to identify
its group owner.
& MODERN PENCIL
Later on strips of this material were cut by saw and
wrapped with paper, cotton thread or cloth to hands getting black. This was the
pioneer birth stage of today’s Modern Pencil!! 2 strips of wood took place of
this ‘wrapping’ and the Graphite Slip was sticked with glue between 2 strips of
wood. This was improved to encasing thinner Graphite Slip ‘Square’ Grooved
Piece of wood by covering its top by another piece of wood making it ‘square’
SAMPLE OF OLDEST PENCIL
The making of Pencil was fully done by hands and
many families of Wooden Cabinet Makers in Europe. Nuremberg in Germany is believed
to be the first place to make Pencil in old days!
In 1795, during the war time (Between France &
England) French people were not able to get the superior Graphite from English
mines and their own deposits of Graphite were very poor. This lead Napoleon to
address the needs of Pencil and he assigned his War Scientist Major Cont’e to
develop process of improving writing property of poor quality Graphite.
With years of research, Cont’e developed the today’s
modern process of making ‘Extruded Graphite Lead’ by using inferior Graphite
improved to higher purity!! Here the Modern Manufacturing Science and
Engineering was first ever introduced and a ‘REAL PENCIL’ like look and its
properties were developed!!
EARLIER (17th Century)& SEMI EARLIER (19th Century)
Square wood Strip with Groove
Hand sliced Solid Graphite Stick inserted
Excess Graphite removed
Covered with another piece of wood with Adhesive,
Half Round Shape with Groove
Round Extruded Lead inserted
Covered with another half
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