Blackfeet Indian Pencils

The classic Blackfeet Indian Pencil.
The Blackfeet Indian Pencil is a unique creation. It is a quality pencil that has a varnished natural wood encasing that was years ahead of others in recognizing that the natural beauty of wood grain could be embraced by the public, if presented properly. The varnish is thick and polished – it doesn’t look like (and isn’t) something one would find at a generic office supply store.

The original had black imprinting with a small horse and rider logo, and the words “THE BLACKFEET INDIAN PENCIL” and the digit 2 for the lead hardness. There is a silver ferrule and light pink eraser. It writes nicely and the lead doesn’t crumble or splinter. A later version had a black ferrule and dark pink eraser. Unfortunately, this later version doesn’t maintain the quality of the classic version – the varnish is thinner, making the pencil less pleasant to hold, and the black ferrule doesn’t match the pencil as well, and can distract the eye.

The pencils were made in Browning, Montana by the Blackfeet Indian Writing Company as part of a tribal owned economic initiative. I gather up to a hundred people may have been employed at the company’s peak, but it sadly appears to have been dormant the last few years.

98 Replies to “Blackfeet Indian Pencils”

  1. This is a great pencil. I found a partial box while emptying a drawer. I closely guard this pencil and left the remainder of the box at home. The sole pencil is now on my desk at work. It is wonderful to have it back. What a great piece of workmanship. Too bad they “sold out” and now this product is not available to me. Thank you for making such a great piece of office “equipment.”

    I’m in Georgia.

  2. I found at a flea Market a box and 5 Blackfeet Indian pencils.Box is in great condition, pencils have been sharpened. I would like to sell.


  3. I just found three of these in a bunch of old pencils someone gave me. I’m torn between saving them and sharpening them for use…

  4. Hi everyone, I have 1 box of “The Blackfeet Indian Pencil” and 3 boxes of “Vector Pencils” they are marked with gold letters “Blackfeet Indian Writing Company” and come in the same box as the “Blackfeet Indian Pencils” but I can’t find any information on Vector pencils on the internet. Can anyone help me with any information on these pencils.

  5. Thanks for the links guys! I have a much better understanding of the pencils now. The Vector 001-04 in the link is close to mine, the only differnce is the lead hardness and the rims.

  6. Just came across this site. I have two full boxes of these pencils. I have been using them for the last 10 years, not realizing their importance and want for collectors. I have now wrapped them up in clear wrap and they are sitting on my nick nack shelf. I do have mor in my cellar and will look for them next week and wrap them up too.

  7. I found a box of Swagger Stick pens manufactured by the Blackfeet Indian Writing Company when I cleaned out my parent’s house. The box is cardboard and has a picture of A Fantasy from the Pony War Dance by Frederic Remington. There are 8 black pens left in the box. Some do not write and some do faintly. I don’t think they are used just probably dried out. Does anyone know anything about the pens made by this company?

  8. Blackfoot pencils are the best wooden pencils I haev ever used. I would like to buy more.
    Anyone know where to go?

  9. My understanding is that the original production line is long gone. The only chance would be to try to get some on ebay, etc. I heard that some newer ones were being made, but they weren’t the same.

  10. Does anyone know anything about the Buckskin line? I’m awaiting a delivery of some from an ebay seller and don’t know much about them except they’re painted and by the Blackfeet Indian Writing Company.

  11. I have recently purchased some of the Blackfeet Indian pencils (yellow 027-29) and would like to know what they are worth. There are six boxes with a dozen in each. Any info. would be appreciated.
    I would be interested in selling them. Thank you.
    Christopher L

  12. I am listed a sealed package of 6 dozen Blackfeet Indian Pencils on ebay within the next couple of days. They are the last of these pencils from my artist supplies that I am selling. Today is May 12 2012. I don’t know if I am allowed to post this on your board or not. I do want these to go to someone who will appreciate them.

  13. I have 5 dozen left. I have them listed at 9.99 with a buy it now price of 21.99. I had them up with a start price of 9.99 for a start price for all of them, but no one bid on them, so I decided to sell them in the one doz boxes rather than as a group.

  14. As of 11:30 PM EST Tuesday May 15 2012 they were still there. Listed as
    12 VINTAGE #2 pencils Tru-Arrow Pencils from Blackfeet Indian Writing Company
    ebay item 251063242973
    Thanks, Gunther

  15. Thank you, Karen, but since I live in Germany eBay doesn’t allow me to buy them now. I am very interested in them so I would be very happy if you could change the shipping location (I can also name you an address in the US).

  16. You can reach me by asking a question through ebay about any of the items I have up for bid. I will change the shipping location to international, it shouldn’t change the shipping much to ship first class international. Thanks for pointing that out, my error.

  17. Thank you, Karen. I have tried to ask you a question via eBay but it didn’t work; anyway, the pencils are now sold.

  18. I have six dozen blackfeet indian pencils from the Blackfeet Indian Writing Co., Blackfeet Industrial Park, Browning Montana 59417
    product code 100-2
    mediun soft (no.2)
    they are still wrapped in the original six dz.package
    bidding starts at 72.00 dollars
    shipping is free
    phone 218-335-8055

  19. I had no Idea these pencils were no longer manufactured.I went to a consignment shop two days ago and i found a box of the Blackfeet Indian Pencils,#2with the rider and pony.Box of ten ,already sharpened. The box is in very good condition and has the rider on a pony,adapted from pony war dance by Frederic Remington written on the side.The ferruls are black with a pink eraser. I bought them as i am an artist an had i known what they were i would not have used one to write with.I purchased the box of ten for one dollar.

  20. @Sam…Your missing the point! The pencils you call comparable do not have the history and importance to the Blackfeet Indian Pencils. The Blackfeet Indian Pencils was a company started up and run by the Blackfeet Indians, true Native Americans. When it closed down it was a part of their culture lost, along with an excellent product.

  21. I found two boxes of these pencils in my basement both have all twelve pencils inside and one of the boxes is in a wood case. I am interested in selling these!

  22. Blackfeet pencils are great. I
    Just yesterday I found a fistful from the 70’s when my nephew was selling them in elementary school.
    Do not toss them. They are good for writing and better yet sketching.
    Congrats on finding some.

  23. My husband a retired professor was cleaning out his office and gave me a box of these Blackfeet pencils. I did not recognize the name, but recognized the quality instantly. I told my husband you can’t buy pencils like this any where in the world. These may even be the last of there kind. Excited about what I found I search the internet and was delighted to find others that appreciate the quality of these very special pencils. I too will enjoy one and protect the rest.

  24. Weird – everywhere I’ve looked, people say The Blackfeet Indian Pencil only existed with a silver or black ferrule. I have a pretty old box of them, definitely genuine, and the ferrule is GOLD. Anyone know about this?

  25. I too have Blackwing Tru-Arrow pencils which have a gold ferrule with a brown lacquer ring. However, I don’t have any details about them.

  26. i am interested in buying Blackfeet Indian pencils. A few years ago I had a set and loved them. This would be for my personal use so if any of the folks on here that are noting they have pencils they would like to sell, please email me at Thanks!

  27. I have a box of 12. Blackfeet Indian Acrylicolor Pencils. Carmine red. 2 were sharpened once. I would sell for $20 (plus add shipping).

  28. I used to work for Mont.Wards in the 80’s. They had these wonderful pencils, Carmine-red, with MW’s stenciled on them.. I bought 3 boxes (12 pencils per box) from the Customer Service Desk. Years later, I pulled out these pencils and began drawing again. WOW ! They are just great ! Think the graphite is 2.50 lead. There is no other Art Company that has a 2.50 lead pencil. Turns out, the Black Feet Indian Tribe of Montana, made these unique pencils !

  29. I have found a case new old stock of these pencils I have 25 boxes of 12 pencils each I will sell them for $29 a box call or email for pictures 609-268-5151

  30. I just found one of these pencils, about five inches long, in my desk drawer. The school I used to work for provided them for students. I noticed how nicely this little pencil writes, and that, remarkably, the eraser still works without leaving an ugly black smear. I was hoping to find that the Blackfoot tribe was still making them so I could buy some more. Maybe this site will lead me to some other worthwhile pencils.

  31. Welcome, Kristine. The Blackfeet remains a fascinating pencil.

    You comment is in response the site’s second post. Since 2005 several hundred more posts have been added, so I hope you discover some other interesting pencils!

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