Monday, March 31, 2008

Yellow Pencil;Carpenter Couture

Policeman have badges. Doctors have stethoscopes.  Yuppies have blackberries.  Carpenters have pencils.
Of course there are many writing & marking implements to choose from, but none quite as a versatile or as wearable as the yellow graphite pencil that sheaths so neatly above the ear.  
Always at the ready, it is an essential for measurement dictation, plan-sketching & creating an easily removable mark on wood being milled for fabrication.
The first American wood pencils were made in 1812 by William Monroe, a cabinetmaker from Concord Massachusetts.  In the 1800's the best graphite in the world was found in China. Pencil manufacturers began painting pencils yellow to identify the Chinese graphite.  The color, which then symbolized Chinese royalty, has since become synonymous with wooden pencils.
Although the flat and chunky "carpenter's" pencil is a top choice for many, the yellow no. 2 is sleeker, looks smart and proves useful for many things beyond carpentry such as artistic sketching, crossword puzzles and all brands of standardized testing like the SAT's.  That's right kids, it's not just a cool looking earpiece that resembles a school bus dangling on the edge of a cliff, the pencil is a tool and a fashion.  (Another plus, it usually comes with its own eraser).


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