Northern Pencils


This post is a research query. Is anyone familiar with a Canadian company Northern Pencils?

Street view of Northern Pencils

An online search found a website for a small company called Northern Pencils.

It looks really interesting. A supplier of slats and unfinished pencils, I presume there was never a “Northern Pencils” branded pencil. The wood species used sound very interesting: “We use quality Red Cedar, Lindenwood and some Northern White Pine for special run orders.” Red Cedar? I know many pencil users who would love to see a modern Red Cedar pencil. (Maybe we have? Some Staedtler press materials have mentioned the use of Canadian cedar.)

If you know something, please feel free to share!

Pencil Machinery from Northern Pencils

Unfortunately, one can quickly see that the website is unmaintained, and I further found this auction site. It looks like the company may have only been around for one year.

The only good aspect I can imagine is that someone will get the idea to start up a small pencil manufacturer – the equipment costs don’t look insurmountable, and we know that “buy local” is a major trend!

5 Replies to “Northern Pencils”

  1. If they didn’t sell under their own name, is there any indication whether they were manufacturing pencils that were being sold under another brand, e.g. for a Canadian chain of stores?

    When there was a similarly short-lived pencil manufacturer in Germany they were actually set up by another brand (see ), so I guess that’s also a possibility.

    My speculation is that if someone sets up this kind of company they have some sort of link to the industry already, so another idea would be that it was someone working in this industry who wanted to set up his own brand.

  2. Matthias, thank you for the comment. I don’t have any indication of where the product wound up. Your speculation about industry ties sounds correct to me – this is a small, and specialized, field to enter.

  3. Quick! Let’s all go in and buy that manufacturing equipment! Then we can make MILLIONS with small, custom runs.

    I have a 600 square-foot 1 bedroom apartment. Can we keep it at your house? :-P

  4. Andy, the pricing is in Canadian dollars – this is even cheaper than you think!

    Of course 16,000 kg of machinery might best be kept in a garage. ;-)

  5. I was one of the partners in Northern Pencils. We made and sold a few containers of Lindenwood slats and also a few containers of raw sticks. Our biggest accomplishment was developing a process to make any kind of Pine the perfect pencil slat. The process was a thermal treatment that zapped the sap out of the wood and made it extremely stable with no warping. They were beautiful slats and were very well received by one of the main producers in the USA. The “Golden Pine” slats had tremendous potential. Unfortunately we had a series of unfortunate events that set us back too far to continue. (we actually got a good price for our 16,000KG of equipment :)

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