Roddy McDowall on Columbo


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From a 1972 episode of Columbo: Roddy McDowall can be seen with an Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602, as he tried to get one over on Peter Falk and company. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t succeed.)

Thanks to reader Dan for the tip!

The Bowling Blackwings


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Belated congratulations to the winners of the 42nd annual Eberhard Faber bowling dinner of 1966. The team, called the “Blackwings”, prevailed against their co-workers as “first half champions”, with the “Streamliners” securing the second half.

—> Half the Gutterballs, Twice the Leaves <—

Thanks to reader Jaime for the tip!

No Comparison


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From the 1981 Eberhard Faber sales manual:

A professional salesperson will make it his business to learn as much as possible about the competition as well as his own product.

To that end the company provided a “pencil equivalent chart” to their sales force: a list of what the company felt were comparable brands offered by General Pencil, Berol, Dixon, and Faber-Castell. For example, up against the Mongol and Hexaround were the following:

The venerable Editor pencil had some equally venerable company:

But it’s what’s missing that is the most telling. Of the twenty-nine Eberhard Faber pencil brands listed, along with their competitors’ equivalents, there is no entry for the Blackwing.

Perhaps the company thought there was just no comparing.

Blackwings: Impossible


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From a 1969 episode of “Mission: Impossible”, it seems four Eberhard Faber Blackwing pencils can be seen at the top of the frame (from underneath a glass table).

Honorable mention goes to the pencil crossing the tie of Peter Graves (right), which might just be a Castell 9000 — peace and harmony across the Faberland.

Thanks to reader Al for the tip!

Eberhard Faber: First Glance


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This is just a one-off printing for now: 396 pages so far, but much more to go. It begins with a comprehensive history of the Eberhard Faber Company, including a detailed account of their break with A.W. Faber-Castell in Germany. Below are Lothar Washington Faber, and his son, Eberhard Faber III.

It was Eberhard III who created the Blackwing. He had a background in chemistry, which informed his efforts in creating the 602’s unique lead formula.

The Blackwing 602 was nestled between the Van Dyke 601 and the Microtomic 603 (which was actually a re-branding of the Van Dyke).

Here are a few examples of the graphics found in company advertising and packaging.

The quality of the printing revealed that a lot of the older photos I’ve taken need to be re-done, but there are several shots that still hold up under scrutiny.

I still can’t predict a publication date, but this first compilation was a major step forward.



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Thanks to everyone who stopped by in 2018, whether it was to mention a sighting or just to have a look around.

And, best wishes for 2019!