No Hidden Pencils in Hidden Figures

Just a brief post about something I haven’t seen in the press – pencils play a major role in the film Hidden Figures.

Still from Hidden Figures

In particular, mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) uses a Pentel P20X mechanical pencil in contrast to the other engineers, who use yellow woodcase pencils. A more evolved pencil for a more evolved person? As some of the management become just a little more enlightened, you observe that they also start to use mechanical pencils.

When Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) decides to become an engineer and wonders about her husband’s support, he gives her a clutch leadholder as a gift.

Still from Hidden Figures

And chalkboards! So high they require library step ladders to reach the top. Giant chalkboards for giant problems.

A woman with the right pencil can’t be stopped!

4 Replies to “No Hidden Pencils in Hidden Figures”

  1. While watching the movie, I commented to her about the P209G being used by Katherine Johnson.

    Of course she could not be using a P209, because it did not come into existence until 1970.

  2. Pentel p209 that is. The yellow 0,9mm version. Specialy usefull for agitated writing beacause of the thicknes. Question: was the p209 around in the early 60?

  3. The Sharp P200 was not available until 1970 with all lead sizes. Technically, no Pentel Sharp was made before 1962. Therefore, the logic wouldn’t even make sense to try to hunt for a PS-350 Sharp.

  4. In that movie you could see 3 differents mechanical pencils: 1) pentel p209 2)staedtler Micro 2 mm 3) koh-i-noor adapto 5616 (only that exists in 1960). I really like the movies shows more mechanical pencils that 2B pencils!

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