Sharpen your knowledge

Behold the simple pencil. Chances are your kids have this back-to-school staple on their school supply list. You bite them, break them and sharpen them constantly, but have you ever really wondered why #2 pencils are the best for standardized tests? Or why pencils can be safely chewed? Equipped with these fun facts, your little ones will never look at the‘simple’ pencil the same way again.

1662 Year that pencils were first mass produced. The lucky landmark? Nuremberg, Germany.

1812 Year that America first made its own pencils.

75 Percent of pencils sold in America painted yellow—honoring the fact that most graphite came from China, a country where yellow is synonymous with royalty and respect.

45,000 Words that can be written, on average, by a pencil in its lifetime.

2 Number in billions of pencils that are used in America every year.

1858 Year the patent that attached erasers to pencils was created. Can you imagine pencils without erasers? Europeans can—most pencils in Europe are eraser-free.

2 Tons of erasers produced by most American pencil plants daily.

#2, #3, #4, etc. Numbers that designate the hardness of the pencil, and the higher the number, the harder the core of graphite—which, by the way, is nontoxic. #2 pencils are considered the ideal softness for general use, especially test-taking.

$10 Cost per year to be a member in the American Pencil Collectors Society.

35 Miles of straight line that can be drawn by the average pencil before it gets too short to use.

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