Books on Mechanical Pencils

This would be an interesting read, but not at $995 (WTH?)

The 2021-2026 World Outlook for Mechanical Pencils

This study covers the world outlook for mechanical pencils across more than 190 countries. For each year reported, estimates are given for the latent demand, or potential industry earnings (P.I.E.), for the country in question (in millions of U.S. dollars), the percent share the country is of the region, and of the globe. These comparative benchmarks allow the reader to quickly gauge a country vis-à-vis others. Using econometric models which project fundamental economic dynamics within each country and across countries, latent demand estimates are created. This report does not discuss the specific players in the market serving the latent demand, nor specific details at the product level. The study also does not consider short-term cyclicalities that might affect realized sales. The study, therefore, is strategic in nature, taking an aggregate and long-run view, irrespective of the players or products involved. This study does not report actual sales data (which are simply unavailable, in a comparable or consistent manner in virtually all of the countries of the world). This study gives, however, my estimates for the worldwide latent demand, or the P.I.E., for mechanical pencils. It also shows how the P.I.E. is divided across the world’s regional and national markets. For each country, I also show my estimates of how the P.I.E. grows over time (positive or negative growth). In order to make these estimates, a multi-stage methodology was employed that is often taught in courses on international strategic planning at graduate schools of business.


Would probably be bought by a pencil manufacturing firm and then written off as a business expense… hence the price tag. And given the anticipated volume, it’s not surprising it’s that expensive.

Now if only you could secure one on loan through a public library! I have to wonder if there are some well funded libraries that can procure industry publications for patrons or subscribers. In the end, though… for everyone here, it would probably be a very dry read and not have much in the way of details about existing pencils. Maybe future pencil tech that is in the works? But thinking rationally, I don’t see how much more can be done now that there’s auto-rotation and auto-feed tech in production, with the KT Dive having both in one pencil.


This would just be industry research and reports on things like sales numbers, market spend, etc. We have annual reports for this in digital infrastructure. Boring boring boring but important for business planning.

It would have stuff like this…


But with that said, I think you should buy a few copies for us just as some late night reading material.


I forgot I had this old Keuffel & Esser catalog from 1954. Started thumbing through it and found some old lead holders and wood cased pencils. Thought it was pretty cool.


Oh man. You’re going to make @SlideRules pee on himself.


Definitely peeing on myself…but not because of the catalog! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I wouldn’t mind seeing some later catalogs to see if they include the Pentel pencils. (I know a couple slide rule collectors nearby who might actually have most of the catalogs. I need to ask.) I know there’s a K&E Pentel Graph in green.


The pictures I posted earlier are pretty much the extent of marking devices in this catalog with the exception of ruling pens.
There is a whole section on slide rules that looks interesting. I really like their scales and mapping machines. Really good artwork in this catalog.




The K&E catalogs are very impressive. Clark McCoy has scans of the slide rule and planimeter sections of most of the catalogs on his website.


It’s amazing how much work was spent on this old stuff. But on the other side, things were relatively more expensive (good question if this is a good or bad thing though…).

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The incredible amount of work that went into catalogs and publishing companies, on the other hand, meant a good number of relatively well paid jobs… Conception, pre-press, press and distribution… today you can do the same job with a handful of poorly paid people (in relation to the cost of living)… It’s somewhat unconceivable how the future, fully robotised or near that, will accommodate growing millions of people.

(apologies for this dark footnote!)


Nothing attractive huh, look at these two files below, a similar example, I believe it is very boring for fans, this is regular news reports from 日本筆記具工業会/日本シャープペンシル工業会

I also know that Japanese library has files like ‘文具・紙製品・事務機年鑑. 1986’, but judging from its table of contents, at least 95% of the content is of little value to us, it’s just business information about dealers in various places

I will save the budget to buy vintage catalogs, actually most of them sells for less than 4000 yen at auction except for 3~5 popular brands

digidepo_11673637_po_JWIMA_NEWS001.pdf (427.0 KB)
digidepo_11673680_po_JWIMA_NEWS045_046.pdf (2.1 MB)

But I still believe that there is some materials within their industry or company about product development or technical details, but it is just not public, or there is public information that has not yet been discovered by us


I share two other documents here, the first is a paper that introduces the manufacturing, inventing and patenting of mechanical pencils in Japan from 1880s to 1960s
日本におけるシャープペンシルの製造と発明 考案(1960 年代前半まで).pdf (1.9 MB)

Although most pencil fans’ attention is not in this period, in terms of content, it is exactly that kind of article we expect, and it’s worth reading


Another book is シャープペンシルのあゆみ, published in 1995, not available for public, but there’s a ‘Stationery Cafe’ in Tokyo allows customers to read this book. Once I thought about getting someone to help me get the book, but from the table of contents, seems that the focus of the book was in the early years of the development of mechanical pencil and pencil lead, so I dismissed that idea.


I have been trying to find a Speedraft for about 4 years. Dan Linn is the only person I know of that has any.