Buddy Bregman


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buddybregmanbw© 1956 Richard Tolbert/AP

Buddy Bregman (1930-2017) was a composer, arranger, and conductor who worked with some of the most notable musicians of the 20th century, including Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Bing Crosby, and Ella Fitzgerald to name only a few. Like many other musicians who worked in the same era, he can be seen using an Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602.

Thanks to reader Boris for the tip!

Contour Drawing


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The following stills are from a 1967 educational/instructional film about contour drawing. This Eberhard Faber Blackwing still has the black-banded ferrule:


If you look closely, you’ll see that this pencil also has a custom stamp: “M. FLAX, INC”.


The only custom-stamped Blackwings I’ve seen prior to this were from the Boston Athanæum, which were some of the last Blackwing pencils ever made. It’s possible that the pencils could have been stamped elsewhere, but as far back as the turn of the twentieth century the Eberhard Faber Co. was custom-stamping their premium pencils, such as the Van Dyke.

Bear Creek


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Just back from a return visit to Pennsylvania, and this video is a very brief preview of what I’ve been working on. The scope of things has expanded considerably, so for now I’m capturing what I can when I can.

It’s appalling to consider what little exists today in terms of visual archives; what wouldn’t we give to see and hear Eberhard Faber II talk about the Mongol, or his nephew, Eberhard Faber III, discuss his inspiration for the Blackwing 602. . .

Seven Days in May (1964)


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Andrew Duggan receives an Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 from Kirk Douglas (whose back is to the camera), in the 1964 political thriller Seven Days In May.


Thanks to reader David for the tip!

No Ordinary Pencil


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No Ordinary Pencil

“The other [pencils] are a snare, a delusion, and utterly useless.” Some advice from Eberhard Faber about his pencils.


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In an interview given to the Salt Lake Herald in 1906, Eberhard Faber II offered some sage advice to pencil users. While most of what he said borders on common sense it’s still illuminating to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak; like Bach himself telling you that sevenths should resolve downward by step, or Ted Williams telling you to keep your eye on the ball.


Never bite the end of a pencil. It ruins the glue used in holding the pencil boards together causing them to separate.”

Never place the lead point of a pencil in the mouth. It tends to harden and harm the lead.

…no mention of possible harm to the person on the other end of the pencil.

Never sharpen a pencil when in a hurry. The result will be that more points are broken and material wasted than if sharpened leisurely.

As true today as it was 110 years ago.

Buy only the best pencils. The others are a snare, a delusion and utterly useless.

To be fair he didn’t say buy only Eberhard Faber pencils, but rather “the best” pencils. I wonder who makes those.

When buying pencils select grades suited to your work. Too hard or too soft pencils never work well.

There you have it, and remember, stay away from those delusional pencils.