National Pencil Day falls on March 30 each year. Thank goodness it fell on a Sunday this year, because when the Pencil Day party falls on a Friday or Saturday, my hangover lasts for DAYS. But this Pencil Day, I was too busy editing a report on the costs/benefits of channelized right-turn lanes, so I had to reign in the craziness.
Here are some delightful pencil facts, courtesy of the National Day Calendar blog (which is just what it sounds like: get all yer obscure holiday facts there):
- Thomas Edison had his pencils specially made by Eagle Pencil. Each pencil was three inches long, was thicker than standard pencils and had softer graphite than was normally available.
- Vladimir Nabokov rewrote everything he had ever published, usually several times, by pencil.
- John Steinbeck was an obsessive pencil user and is said to have used as many as 60 a day. His novel East of Eden took more than 300 pencils to write.
- Vincent van Gogh used only Faber pencils as they were “superior to Carpenters pencils, a capital black and most agreeable”.
- Johnny Carson regularly played with pencils at his Tonight Show desk. These pencils were specially made with erasers at both ends to avoid on-set accidents.
- Roald Dahl used only pencils with yellow casing to write his books. He had 6 sharpened pencils ready at the beginning of each day and only when all 6 pencils became unusable did he resharpen them.