“My choice of pencils lies between the black Calculator stolen from Fox Films and this Mongol 2 3/8 F which is quite black and holds its point well—much better in fact than the Fox pencils. I will get six more or maybe four more dozen of them for my pencil tray.”
“Pencils must be round. A hexagonal pencil cuts my fingers after a long day. You see I hold a pencil for about six hours every day. This may seem strange but it is true. I am really a conditioned animal with a conditioned hand.”
Three pencils that we know John Steinbeck praised – the Eberhard Faber Mongol, the Blaisdell Calculator, and the Eberhard Faber Blackwing.
The Mongol 480 shown here is a less common round version. It writes very nicely!
The Blaisdell Calculator 600 is one of those pencils I thought I would never see – it is definitely the rarity of the trio. I find it to be an incredibly nice writer. It has much of that waxy smoothness of the better known Blackwing.
And, the Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602, a pencil that Steinbeck praised, contradicting his requirement that pencils be round.
Decades old, each one still writes well and sharpens with ease. What high standards they had back then!
My thanks to Sean from The Blackwing Pages for sending me the Calculator and Blackwing.