Ever wondered what 1500 pencils look like..?
1500 Cumberland Pencil Factory pencils
As well as being famous for being the home of Millican, Keswick is more commonly recognised as the home of the pencil. And proud of it, too.
Legend has it that in the early 1500s, a violent storm in the Borrowdale area (the very same Borrowdale Valley where our own Millican Dalton made his home) led to trees being uprooted and the discovery of a strange black material underneath. This material turned out to be graphite, and shepherds began using it to mark their sheep.
A cottage industry of pencil making soon developed, culminating in the formation of the UK’s first pencil factory in 1832. Exactly 1.1 miles from The Shed (Millican HQ), that’s 6 minutes on a bike. The factory still stands to this day.
The Cumberland Pencil Factory, Keswick
Although production moved to Lillyhall in Workington in 2008, the original factory (now empty) is central to the make-up of Keswick and lies fondly in the hearts of many Keswickians.
We can tell you a thing or two about pencils – did you know that:
- A pencil will write in zero gravity, and under water.
- More than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world every year – enough to circle the globe 62 times.
- One pencil will draw a line 70 miles long.
- The first graphite pencil was created in Borrowdale.
- The average pencil can be sharpened 17 times and write 45,000 words.
- Dreaming that you are sharpening a pencil, suggests that you need to be more flexible in your way of thinking.
Our fixation with pencils lead us (pun intended) to develop our very own. We’ve got together with The Cumberland Pencil Company to produce an un-dyed hexagonal barrel pencil using high grade graphite with wood sourced from forests accredited to the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI).
The great thing is, they’re made just down the road.
Perfect combination – Matt the Moleskine Cover and Millican x The Cumberland Pencil Co.
If you’re interested in one (or a few) of our pencils, we will soon be adding them to our shop. Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll let you know when they’re in.
More updates from the Pencil Factory to follow…