In the recent times, though time is very important, as pens and computers are used throughout the world, pencils are also used in many professions like drawing and preparing drafts. Usually, pencils are used by students to complete school assignments or filling forms and creating sketches etc. Some problems that people face while using pens are the smearing or leakage of ink and while correcting a mistake.
The discovery of graphite in the 15th century marked the beginning of the pencil industry. It was found that graphite could be used to create a mark and it can also be cut into slates. To write, they used to wrap the graphite in sheepskin and then carry on their work so that they do not smear themselves.
Nowadays, the modern pencil can be divided into several types based on the professions:
China Marker: It is also known as wax pencil and is made of colored wax. The importance of this pencil is that it can write on any surface – mainly used for making on hard, shining surfaces such as porcelain, ceramics, and glass etc. It is used by mainly traditional artists.
Carpenter Pencils: They are easily recognized by its rectangular shape and elliptical cross-section. Since their shape stops them from rolling away and because of their hardness, builders use it for marking on hard and rough surfaces such as wood, stone and concrete etc.
Charcoal pencils: It leaves a very dark black mark when written and is used primarily by artists for making sketches.
Water color pencils (Aquarelle): used for giving colors, they are washable and produce an effect identical to water color paints.
Pastel Pencils: They are used mainly for marking on dark papers and their color is usually white resembling chalk.
Colored pencils: They are prepared by mixing graphite and different colors of wax. They can be used for portraying various colors.
Cosmetic pencils: They are mainly used for make-up purposes such as eye or lip-liner.
Indelible pencil: The pencil which leaves a permanent mark and cannot be erased.
Woodless pencil: The graphite is cut into rods and they are enclosed in a plastic casing (medium HB to 9B).
There are two rating systems based on the hardness:
The European system has divided the rating into two parts. If they are soft they are classified with a B, where as if pressure has to be applied to make a line, it is H. 9B is the softest while 9H is the hardest.
The soft pencils are smooth to write with and they make thick black line which can make a blurred mark. They are distinguished by a marking labeled as “B.” These are usually soft and they are used by artists to create drawings and for adding shading to images. “2B” to “4B” is usually used for rubber stamping or stamp carving projects.
Hard pencils (H to 6H) with the letter “H” which means ‘hard’ are used for making fine lines. For making a dark impression or line, pressure is required.
The US system of rating uses numerical pattern for pencils. They rate it as: 1, 2, 2 ½, 3 and 4.
Uses of Pencils in History:
Thomas Alva Edison used to keep a pencil in his pocket and a small notebook to jot down ideas and later correct them.
Leonardo da Vinci, the famous sculptor, artist, philosopher used pencils for making drawings.
The first advertisement for the sale of pencils can be found in the paper “Pennsylvania Gazette” published by Benjamin Franklin in the 17th century.
SathyaNarayana B has done Post Graduation and is interested in writing articles on martial arts, travel, history, pet care, IT related trends, herbal remedies and daily health tips.