We looked at the famous IBM Electrographic pencil a few months ago.
Other pencils whose marks will be read by machine scanners are still made today.
I am happy to be able to present the Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencil made by the Musgrave Pencil Co. of Shelbyville, Tennessee.
While the finish of the Musgrave HB is delightful and superior, and the Unigraph 1200 is okay if not nice, the Test Scoring 100 pencil’s finish seems very thin and cheap. The pencil’s varnish is silver with black lettering, with a small nod to the pencil’s function – some checkboxes, one filled in.
The pencil’s shape is like the HB’s – a sharp hexagon, with little rounding.
The pencil sharpens easily, revealing that nice cedar grain.
The lead is less crumbly than that of the HB, though nowhere near as dark and rich. For those who would use it as a writing pencil, it does seem rough and scratchy compared to the HB. Presumably the pencil’s main value is in the readability of the marks.
Overall, the pencil is a disappointment.
I’m not sure where (or even if) these pencils are sold at retail. Musgrave’s products are very hard to find, and the company does not exactly welcome enquiries, even commercial ones, in my personal experience. I bought a couple dozen of the Test Scoring 100 from pencilthings.com, before that company halted their international sales.