Old Staedtler factory footage

Screencap from "STAEDTLER pencil production in 1950 Part 2". I love old pencil packaging. Why can't they wrap them up like this anymore?

Screencap from “STAEDTLER pencil production in 1950 Part 2”. I love old pencil packaging. Why can’t they wrap them up like this anymore?

Speaking of Pencil Revolution, there was a great comment thread on a post where we discussed the bevy of How It’s Made videos on YouTube about making pencils! Sean from Contrapuntalism linked to these fantastic old 1950s silent films from the Staedtler factory on how they made pencils back then.

(UPDATE: Sean first saw it linked from the great German pencil blog, Lexikaliker, back in 2010.)

There is no sound, and the intertitles are in German, but I think you get the idea, especially after watching the more modern video posted with English narration.

Here they are, in two parts. (Warning: be prepared for the bizarre music playing during part 2)

(Sean warned us when he shared the link, but I still wasn’t prepared for Christian rapper Soul P to start blaring in an ancient black-and-white film about making wood case pencils.)

It surprised me that this film is from 1950 — with the production quality, and the general look and feel of the factory, I would have guessed that it was much earlier, like from the 1920s or 30s. But then I realized I was looking at it through an American culture lens; it looks, to me, like it took place during the Great Depression. And the decade preceding this film was rough on Germany — the government lost a war, unprecedented in scope, was toppled, and the entire population had a huge financial, political and moral mess to deal with. This was a bad time for Germany.

The films are fascinating. Thanks, Sean, for pointing them out!

(In case the videos didn’t embed for you, here are links to YouTube: Part 1 | Part 2)

Extended Field Notes Letterpress Footage

I think me and the Coudal Partners are soulmates. They always know exactly what I like to see. Last month, I posted the video they made about the assembly of the Raven’s Wing black Field Notes packs, and today, they published a 7-minute long video about the guy who runs the presses:

As I’ve said many times before, I love this stuff. Dan from Freeport Press is someone who knows his letterpressing, and it’s clear that he takes a lot of pride in his work. I think it definitely shows in the product.

If you have seven minutes to spare, check it out. If you don’t — well, come back and watch it later!

Field Notes assembly video

Following up on how printing ink is made, I wanted to bring you some  letterpress porn. I could watch these videos all day. This one is from Field Notes, who I’ve discussed previously and just announced a new color in their lineup: “Raven’s Wing“. It’s a good looking notebook. Seriously. If I didn’t already have too many of the regular Field Notes cahiers, I would totally get a pack of these.

I can’t think of anything I don’t love about this video. The rousing old-timey march spun slightly too slow on an old record player, the press shooting off uniformly attractive black notebook covers efficiently, or just the knowledge that the resulting product will be a beautiful black Field Notes cahier.

In any case, check it out. It’ll bring a tear to the scribomechanical enthusiasts’ eye.