Posts in: Pencils

three Mongol pencils

✏️ Day 21: Mongol

Another classic. I can’t remember how long these three have been with me, in a pencil cup or drawer. Years. Exquisite core: smooth, dark, but firm. And you may have spotted one on the cover of this book.

two Eagle Mirado pencils

✏️ Day 20: Eagle Mirado

More from my CWP visit in December. Like the Black Warrior and the Ticonderoga, another ubiquitous pencil in American schools. After a long descent into mediocrity, the Mirado has just been discontinued. (Maybe someone can buy the name and reissue it.)

✏️ Day 19: “Sunset”

Sunset pencil

It was pretty hard to find out anything about this pencil. It seems to have been made (or at least distributed) by Crown Zellerbach.

Nice pencil. Mostly harmless. I like that the “o” of “No” is a little stylized pine tree.

Blackfeet pencils

✏️ Day 18: Blackfeet Indian Writing Co

A Sundance and an Exacta. Two excellent pencils I’ve had forever. I wish I had more of these. I don’t write with them anymore; they stay in my small nostalgia jar with a few other rarities.

Blackfeet pencils

(More about Blackfeet pencils.)


One of the most ubiquitous pencils in the US. When I was a kid, I tended to use other pencils more than Ticonderogas — the Venus Velvet, for example (and others to be mentioned later this month) — but these pencils were everywhere in school. And they’re still everywhere. There’s always a few in the jar in the kitchen for making grocery lists. I have dozens of newer Ticonderogas scattered around the house, both US-made:

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Tennessee Red

After CW Pencils had closed their NYC storefront and shortly before they suspended their online shop, I ordered a bunch of pencils from them, including a dozen Musgrave Tennessee Reds. It was kind of an impulse buy, like candy at the checkout, but I had been persuaded (by Pencil Revolution and the Weekly Pencil) that these were pencils worth getting. And they are just gorgeous. I knew going in that this early run was marred by uneven cores, which was true for three or four in my dozen.

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