BY THE NUMBERS
Monday, September 01, 2003
The joys of being No. 2 Pencils star in back-to-school show
Parents, there is one less worry when sending kids back to school-write off the pencil. Because lead poisoning-from pencils, that is-is not a health risk. The myth has been around for years, but believe it or not, pencils contain no lead. The pencil center, or writing core, is made of nontoxic graphite. PaperMate and Pencils.com provided these other little-known facts:
1565 The year Conrad Gesner is credited with inventing the pencil. 1662 The year pencils were first mass-produced, at a factory in Nuremberg, Germany. 1812 The year William Monroe, a cabinetmaker in Concord, Mass., made the first American wood pencils.
2,000,000,000 The number of pencils produced in the United States every year.
1890 The year pencils first were painted yellow.
75 The percentage of pencils sold in the United States that are painted yellow.
45,000 The number of words that can be written with an average pencil. 35 miles, the length of a line that can be drawn by one pencil.
0 The gravity required for a pencil to write. Pencils can also write upside down and under water.
1770 The year the first rubber eraser was made. Until then, breadcrumbs were used as erasers. 100 The number of years since erasers were first added to pencils. 3 inches, the size of George Washington’s pencil when he surveyed the Ohio Territory in 1862. 2 The number assigned to the most commonly used type of pencil. The numbers on a pencil indicate the hardness of the writing core. The higher the number, the harder the core.
-- Nicole Caputo