attached eraser 150 years ago, he certainly didn't anticipate its
having to compete one day with BlackBerrys and online crossword
puzzles," says an article in the Chicago Tribune titled "Lowly pencil
still the write tool", "But the eraser pencil has exhibited remarkable
staying power amid the rise of the typewriter, the ballpoint pen, the
personal computer and all manner of modern hand-held messaging devices
over its century-and-a-half existence. In fact, the U.S. is the single
largest market for wood-encased pencils today, most of which now come
from China. Even the more expensive mechanical pencil has not replaced
what is for many writers and note-takers a tried and true basic. It
has seen a steady increase in production over the last decade,
according to figures from the Writing Instrument Manufacturers
Association. "There's a historic preference for the pencil in the
U.S.," said Charles Berolzheimer, 47-year-old heir to the Berol pencil
brand. "Maybe partly because there's a tactile sensation to making a
mark on paper with it." His family has manufactured pencils or their
raw materials for six generations, and today he is the president of
California Cedar Products Co., which exports the state's high quality
incense cedar to manufacturers abroad."
One of it's strengths its ease of use, according to this article,
"Pencils have also remained popular because of their reliability and
ease of use. "It becomes a part of you, an extension of your hand,"
said Henry Petroski, professor of civil engineering and history at
Duke University. His book, "The Pencil: A History of Design and
Circumstance," is widely seen as the definitive work on the subject.
"People also twirl the pencil as something to do with their hands
while thinking or listening," he said."
Read the full article at--