A few more details about the history of the Blackwing 602 can now be confirmed, based on some excerpts from two Eberhard Faber catalogs. This 1949 catalog states that the Blackwing 602 belonged to Eberhard Faber’s “Quality Group” of black lead pencils with erasers. And the famous lacquer finish? We now know it was officially referred to as “black steel polish”. It’s also interesting to see that pressure and speed aren’t just part of the catchy slogan, they are indeed emphasized in the catalog as selling-points:
Up until this point, I’ve taken the slogan “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed” quite light-heartedly—a nice tag that makes good advertising copy. But here you can see the company quite seriously selling the notion that requiring less writing pressure truly facilitates speed, presumably making the writer more efficient, if not more comfortable.
A previous post raised questions about who Eberhard Faber considered its target audience was for the Blackwing. This next example, from 1954, states it clearly — “writers and editors”. This comes as no surprise, but finally here is some written proof:
The inset extrapolates the “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed” motif, and uses the evocative phrase “exceptionally black”:
It should be noted, however, that the Van Dyke pictured next to it (and the barometer I’ve been using for dating each of the early Blackwings) has a different ferrule. If this is accurate, then it throws off the pairing-system I’ve been using in my attempt to place a date with the ferrules. I think it’s possible that rather than commissioning more camera-ready artwork, previous renderings could be re-used so long as they weren’t too different in appearance compared to the currently shipping pencil. Notice that the description for the Blackwing mentions the “gilt tip with black band”, but that there is no such description for the Van Dyke. If the shipping version was different than the pictured version, its understandable why it would be missing. This may just be wishful thinking on my part.
Many thanks to Lexikaliker and Herbert R. for their generosity in facilitating these scans.