Stationery Factlets #6: Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of mechanical pencil leads 3

Time for another stationery factlet: Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler made lead holders and leads for the lead holders for a long time. Below is a page from their 1935 catalogue.

Staedtler Catalogue 1935

Staedtler Catalogue 1935

When thinner lead diameters were introduced Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of these thinner leads – the kind of leads I would refer to as mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler’s catalogues from the 1960s don’t seem to show pictures of these leads, but the catalogue from 1970 does – and it shows a very familiar lead container.

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

The Mars lead container still has the same shape today, but the plastic is now transparent. The opening of this lead container has the perfect diameter for refilling Mars micro mechanical pencils as you can see in the old video from my 2015 neox blog post.


I would like to thank Eberhard Rüdel for his detective work regarding my mechanical lead questions.


Not quite Handicraft with Bleistift IX – Labelling old Hobonichis 5

Work is keeping me very busy, but to prove I’m still around here’s a quick blog post, taken from the top of my pile of unfinished blog posts.

Just a quick look (not a proper Handicraft post) at how I label old Hobonichis, so that I can see the year from the Techo’s spines, i.e. without having to take them from the shelf.

I love Post-its on a roll. Not cheap, but very useful. Even though Post-its are supposed to be reusable I often use Post-it tape for permanent labelling. In this case I just used white tape and make sure the labels are all at the same height by applying the label on the new Techo when holding the previous year’s Techo next to the new one.

If it comes off you could prefold the tape to make sure there’s a proper 90 degree angle where the cover meets the spine and/or use longer tape so that it has more area to ‘grab’ the cover. I should add that to the blog post.


Raw

Nice to see the Kaweco AL Sport Raw on Hobonichi’s web site. In the past they used Staedtlers and Stabilos.

I have never held a real AL Sport Raw in my hands, but during our Kaweco factory visit last year Sebastian Gutberlet told me that the moment you touch and use the pen your fingers will start to scratch the surface.

The Raw seems to take the concept of ‘beauty through use’ to a whole new level and seems to be a good fit for Hobonichi.


You can read more about the concept of ‘beauty through use’ on Lexikaliker’s blog (Google Translation of the German blog post into English).