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Musgrave Unigraph

Musgrave Unigraph 1200

The Musgrave Pencil Co. has a solid history in the pencil industry, though their website indicates no products other than novelties. It appears the general use writing and drawing pencil is on the decline compared to advertising and novelty pencils.

It was a surprise to see some of their pencils at a small bookstore this week. And by “some”, I mean hundreds and hundreds! The pencils caught my eye right away. Many pencils don’t state a country of origin, let alone anything more specific. These state:

Musgrave Pencil Co.
Shelbyville, Tenn.

The name is “Unigraph” and the model is “1200 Drawing”. Alas, of the hundreds of pencils I saw, all were H hardness. The staff told me that was all they had.

The pencil has a dark forest green varnish, and a pink eraser attached with a gold ferrule with red band. The stamping is gold in colour.

The pencil sharpened easily and writes quite nicely. I don’t have too many H pencils on hand, but it seems a tad darker than a Staedtler Mars H, for example. The lead is quite strong, as one would expect in a higher quality pencil.

I liked the pencil’s association with it’s origin, and can definitely recommend the Unigraph as a good pencil, though I’d really love to try a version with a darker lead.

15 comments to Musgrave Unigraph

  • steve l.

    Interesting! Some years ago Levenger sold a very nice clear laquered Musgrave pencil, a set of 18 or 24 (I’ll have to go look) in a cedar box.
    I later contacted Musgrave directly and was able to buy three gross of Unigraphs in B. They are still in business, and I hope they are still making the Unigraph in there in Tennessee. Sadly, they don’t list the Unigraph (or their equally high quality Harvest (yellow) pencil on their website.

  • Thanks so much for this information. Maybe they still have some stock today, though it’s not advertised.

    Three gross is 432 pencils – that’s quite a few pencils!

  • Steve l.

    Yes, not surprisingly, I have some left. I guess I have a fear of good pencils becoming unavailable… I only have a dozen or so Mongols, which I bought in 1995 – and I regret not buying them in bulk as well. ;-) I was really bummed out when Eberhardt Faber Velvets became Faber Castell Velvets. I shouldn’t have saved the sadness for all the Faber Castell Velvets disappeared. (Velvet, Velvet Deluxe – a very nice grey pencil, and the Black Velvet, a direct competitor to the Black Warrior) And all the Empire pencils.
    And I didn’t buy a gross of any of them. But I learned my lesson – I try to get at least a gross of an quality pencil I find. – Recently I got a gross of Forest Choice. I’d get a gross of Palominos, but #1, they don’t come in that quantity, and #2, the price would be prohibitive even for a fanatical pencil nut/geek like me. ;-) So, I have more pencils now than I’ll probably ever use, but I have a fear that we’ll end up only able to buy one brand of pencil made in china, and that will be it. :-( I’m still trying to find the Caran D’ache 341s that friends used to bring me from Switzerland…. Caran D’ache does still make a great drafting pencil, but I don’t know about the 341, which was a wonderful yellow #2 with a white eraser and a lead that was oddly super smooth and dark,yet more long wearing than most dark leads. Truly a great pencil. Oh well….
    Keep up your blog. Its one of the best around. Thanks.

  • krystie

    I am looking for the Unigraph 1200 drawing 6B pencil made by Musgrave Pencil Co. Shelbyville, Tenn. I am down to 2 of them and I love theses pencils for drawing. Please let me know if you know where I can find them. Thanks

  • Krystie, all I can suggest is to contact Musgrave. As Steve wrote, they may have some available, even if not advertised.

  • Musgrave still makes the 1200 Unigraph pencil, with eraser, in 8 hardnesses (2B to 6H), and without eraser in 15 hardnesses (6B to 9H). The non-eraser versions are all on order and will arrive at PencilThings.com in late April, 2006. One of the Musgrave pencils (but I ain’t saying which!) will be featured in our June issue of the Pencil of the Month Club.

  • Don,

    Thanks very much for your good news. It’s great that you’ve taken the initiative to make these pencils more widely available. I think a lot of people will be interested.

  • Steve

    I have been searching for a box of Musgrave pencils that were in a box. What were these and where can I get them.

  • Packdude

    Does Musgrave still make the Unigraph 1200? I bought some on Pencilthings.Com a year or two ago, but they are no longer listed. They have such a smooth dark black line. I would like to get some more.

  • jankdc

    Packdude, they still have them, just search unigraph on their site and you’ll come up with them. Don sold the business but they are still up and running.

    I love the Unigraphs. I just found out that I’ll be able to get a whole bunch personalized for my business and I’m really excited.

  • Packdude

    Ok thanks. I searched for unigraph on the pencilthings website but found no results. I emailed them — we’ll see what comes up.

    I think it would be fun to get a bunch of personalized pencils from Musgrave. I wonder what the minimum order is for personalized designs…

    Well I also got an email from Don regarding another order I placed on pencilthings, so he must be involved with the business in some way, still?

  • jankdc

    They have the Unigraphs listed again. Yeah, Don is still involved. Rose is running the day to day now.

    My favorite is the 2B. I just got a pack of B and HB. The HB reminds me of the Hex HB that is really nice. The B is just not right though. It feels like a 2H. It was actually harder and lighter than the HB.

  • janice

    I have a pack of 12 Musgrave pencils, found in a box that had been stored for probably 30+ years. How do I find out when the were manufactured?

  • I just got the Musgrave Unigraph assortment by mistake, and found that the B and HB were as hard as the H and 2H. The 2B is soft, more like a 4B in other brands. I then received a box of B’s (what I’d originally ordered), and they’re way harder than any HB pencil I’ve ever tried.

    The clear finish HB’s and Test Scoring pencils are awesome, but the Unigraphs I’ve tried seem to be mislabeled.

  • Della Phillips

    I have checked the Musgrave pencil website and they have the 1200 Unigraph pencils listed under their school pencil lines. They are still being made.

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