I have written a summary and posted it under the title “No Ordinary Pencil“. It will have a separate page and permanent link at the top of the menu. I still think of it as a work in progress and it will be updated from time to time, especially if I stumble upon something new. I’ve left out some details in order to keep the length manageable, but you can find further information in the related posts—I will be linking them soon. But for those interested in having everything in one place, that’s the place to start.
Historical information about the Blackwing is elusive though the extent of my searching hasn’t reached into things like corporate archives. As an ardent pencil user, I became very interested in the rise and decline of wood-cased pencils: a story so rich, complex, and colorful that I may only ever know a small portion of it. And as much as this blog is specifically about one pencil, to me the Blackwing in a sense stands for all pencils that have come and gone. But my concern in having a blog so narrowly focused has been for it to be mistaken as fanatical and single-minded. To be honest, I thought just focusing on one pencil would make things a little easier (I was wrong about that). And in fact, the Blackwing isn’t my favorite pencil (though it’s certainly in the top 5). Instead, everything about the Blackwing just seemed very compelling, and given the pencil’s reputation I thought it would be worth trying to discover more about it. Combine that with the fact there were no other blogs—as far as I could tell—that focused solely on the Blackwing, and, here we are.
It seemed to me that while the Blackwing is more than 64 years old its discontinuation happened not so long ago. So rather than let it fade into history like so many others, why not try to gather what artifacts can be found while they still remain, as well as talk with the people who used them. Shining a light on the history of the Blackwing has also helped to illuminate more than six decades of writing culture for me, which has only heightened my curiosity and deepened my appreciation.
I owe a debt of gratitude to: Stephen, Gunther, Matthias, Michael, Adair, and Lisa for their help and support; the readers who have submitted sightings; and everyone who has commented or offered suggestions.
And, thanks to you—the readers.
All 40 to 50 of you. 🙂