Eberhard Faber Factory in New York, 1903


This article from 1903 is one of several period-pieces I have come across that describe the pencil-making process from start to finish. It begins like most, telling of the large graphite discovery in Borrowdale in the 16th century:


But there is also an excellent series of photographs, taken at the Eberhard Faber Co. factory in New York:


There is an interesting comment about the machinery at the factory, and the motivation for designing it:


Notice, too, that the majority of the workers you see are women. While visiting the Faber-Castell factory in Stein I was told several times that to this day, when it comes to quality control, women typically outperform their male co-workers:




I wonder what labor skills they might have looked for in potential workers. Carpentry? Woodworking? Would pencil-making be a lateral career move for a cooper? Since many of the tasks seem specific to making pencils, I…

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