The old Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory in Brooklyn

Have you ever listened to 99% Invisible? It’s a fantastic podcast with features about, primarily, architecture and design (and starting in 2014, thanks to their Kickstarter, they’ll be producing episodes weekly!). The newest episode, “All the Buildings”, features James Gulliver, an artist on a mission to draw the buildings of New York City — all 700,000 plus of them.

One building in particular that they talked about was at 61 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn — an old pencil factory:

Drawing by James Gulliver at AllTheBuildingsInNewYork.com. Click image for original post.

Drawing by James Gulliver at AllTheBuildingsInNewYork.com. Click image for original post.

After a minute or two of Googling, I found a photograph of this building:

Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory in Brooklyn Check out the story-tall terra cotta pencils at the top of this building: Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory

(Photographs are from Scouting New York. Check out the original post for lots of great information and more photographs.)

How cool is this? It’s the old corporate offices of the Eberhard Faber corporation, maker, of course, of Eberhard Faber pencils. Built in in the 1920s, it was vacated when the company shut down its Brooklyn factory and moved to Wilkes-Barre, PA in 1952. What they left behind was an amazing six-story art deco building with FREAKING PENCILS on it.

Print Magazine has an interview with a few graphic designers who has developed a relationship with this building. Read it when you get a chance; it’s a fun interview.

As of a couple years ago, other buildings from the factory campus were being turned into condos. The Pencil Factory Condos had a website that now seems to be defunct, so it’s unclear as to what is happening with them. I found an interesting (though cheesy) video on YouTube with a walkthrough of the building in question, showcasing some great looking loft spaces:

Next time I’m in NYC, I need to get to the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn to check this place out and get some pictures of my own.

Any Woodclinched readers have any stories about this building? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

The Palomino Blackwing 602

Full disclosure: I do contract marketing work for CalCedar to promote Pencils.com and and the California Republic Stationers brand on social media. Though I am not being paid to write this post for Woodclinched (my personal blog), I’ll refrain from reviewing the performance of this pencil, past a few general statements about it.

So I was getting ready for work this morning; a dark gloomy day in Indiana, when my doorbell rang. It was the FedEx woman, she she was bringing me a package from Pencils.com! Suddenly, the sun came out, and the bird started singing!

Metaphorically, of course.

I opened it right up, and checked out the pencils. I didn’t have a lot of time to examine them, but I grabbed an original Eberhard Faber Blackwing from my desk drawer and one of the new Palomino Blackwing 602 pencils, and headed out the door.

Because Grant was kind enough to send me a pack of pink erasers, I popped one into the signature Blackwing ferrule, and took some side-by-side photos of the new 602 with the old.

So, without getting into details, it does indeed feel firmer than the Palomino Blackwing, but smooth and dark just the same. The real test will happen after Monday, when I’ll be in two or three meetings taking notes.

Here are a few pictures — as I’ve said many times, I’m not the best photographer out there, especially with something as hard to shoot as pencils.

Questions about the pencil? Leave ’em in the comments. Otherwise,  check out the product page on Pencils.com!

Blackwing sighting: The Glenn Miller Story

Usually this is something that Sean would post over at The Blackwing Pages, but this time I thought I’d scoop him, respectfully. My friend Stephanie at Rhodia Drive, a blog about one of my favorite paper products, sent me this screen capture from the 1954 movie The Glenn Miller Story.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but Jimmy Stewart is perhaps my favorite mid-century actor, and I was that wierd kid who used to listen to swing music as a teenager, so I’m quite familiar with this movie.

I don’t quite remember him using a Blackwing to compose, but I wasn’t hyper-sensitive to on-screen pencil choices at the time. I’ll have to re-watch it and find it again.

Sean is much more knowledgeable about the classic Blackwing than I am — perhaps he can perform some forensics and figure out which version of the Blackwing that is.

Thanks, Stephanie!

UPDATE: Sean at Blackwing Pages found another screencap with Jimmy Stewart’s face and the unique Blackwing ferrule. I want to make that my Facebook picture.

Don’t just use your pencil, LISTEN to it.

Sean at Blackwing Pages just posted about report that some of the softer lead varieties of the Eberhard-Faber Microtomic (what a great name!) looked and felt like the über-smooth writing experience of a Blackwing. Go to that post to see the review, but one thing he said really stood out to me:

… [B]eing as objective as possible the first thing I noticed was how things sounded. Yes, you read correctly, how things sounded. Continue reading