1. The Wall Street Journal recently mentioned (as part of a larger story) that the Musgrave Pencil Co. had laid off staff. That’s unfortunate for those involved as well as for users of quality pencils. I think the better Musgrave pencils – the Unigraph and the Musgrave HB – are first rate.
2. Some while ago, I was asked if there was a luxury American pencil, something that could compete with Faber-Castell’s fancy offerings. The answer is – I think there may have been. New York retailer Mrs. John L. Strong had a “hand-lathed” pencil apparently made from Eastern Red Cedar. Like other top offerings, Marco Ferreri’s book Pencils (which is a museum catalogue, not a coffee table book) has a photo.
Alas, I can’t even find a digital photo of these pencils at the moment. I emailed (no reply) and telephoned (out of order) Mrs. Strong earlier this year to try and get some of these pencils. The lack of reply may have been indicative of other problems.