Launched by Eberhard Faber in 1934, the Blackwing 602 premium writing pencil was stamped with the phrases “Half the Stress, Twice the Velocity”: In comparison with an atypical pencil, its core contained extra graphite, much less clay, and wax, in order that it wrote like a pencil of 4B hardness however with a novel gliding really feel.
It has attracted a powerful roster of inventive admirers, together with Walt Disney, Stephen Sondheim, Quincy Jones, Vladimir Nabokov, and John Steinbeck, who wrote, “I’ve discovered a brand new form of pencil — one of the best I’ve ever had. After all it prices thrice as a lot too, however it’s black and delicate however doesn’t break off. I believe I’ll all the time use these. They’re known as Blackwings and so they actually glide over the paper.”
Steinbeck would use a Blackwing pencil proper right down to the ferrule (pencil devotees now name this “Steinbeck stage”) after which move them on to his son, one other author. “Writing with a Blackwing 602, greater than every other pencil, appears like an occasion — one thing like a ceremony of passage for a pencil obsessive,” writes Caroline Weaver in The Pencil Good: The Untold Story of a Cultural Icon (2017). “When they’re offered in my store I all the time encourage the shopper to sharpen it at the very least as soon as and to make use of it for particular events, as a result of a lot of the pleasure of proudly owning it comes from understanding what it appears like to put in writing with it as a lot because it comes from the historical past.”