Pencil Manufacturers: Many are over one century old

A remarkable aspect of the pencil industry is the longevity of the manufacturers. In a selective sample of 23 of the largest and best known manufacturers, nine are less than a century old, ten are between one and two centuries old, and four claim over two centuries of existence!

To be clear, here we are accepting general statements from company websites. We know that Dixon didn’t make pencils on day one, that Dixon and Lyra are no longer independent, and that Koh-I-Noor has a discontinuous history that doesn’t cleanly trace back to Hardmuth in 1790. And there are other companies who may also claim a descent from forerunners that could be challenged. Further, some are more brands than manufacturers today.

Yet, it is extremely impressive. Particular congratulations go to Faber-Castell, celebrating their 260th anniversary in 2021!

Company Created Age
Staedtler 1835 186
Faber-Castell 1761 260
Lyra 1806 205
Stabilo 1855 166
Dixon 1795 226
Newell 1856 165
Moon 1961 60
General 1889 132
Musgrave 1916 105
Tombow 1913 108
Mitsubishi 1887 134
Kitaboshi 1951 70
Camel 1939 82
Eyeball 1972 49
Derwent 1832 189
FILA 1920 101
Viarco 1907 104
Koh-I-Noor 1790 221
China First 1935 86
DOMS 1974 47
Camlin 1931 90
Hindustan 1958 83
Maharashtra 1972 48

4 Replies to “Pencil Manufacturers: Many are over one century old”

  1. Mark, thank you for the comment. I wrote “selective sample” because I am well aware that there are many other manufacturers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. 110 years of Krasin and Voskresensk is also very impressive!

    Also, I have enjoyed many posts at your blog.

  2. When we explore History of Pencil, I agree it goes back to 17th Century and it is GooD that those beginners are still part of this business.
    In Timeline, Pencil Technology have crossed Europe and America and remarkably settled in Asia and today we see strong ‘foothold’ of Asian Countries!
    My association with Pencil Industry taught me that none have monopoly in this business. Few years back China was the leader as Global Pencil Supplier now Chinese Pencil Industries are at ‘backfoot’!!
    The reason is very simple, a manufacturer with a single Pencil as product is difficult to survive and manufacturer with Pencil and other supporting product is going stronger!!
    50 years back, when I entered in this business with core product Pencil as prime product, today my company has more then 2000 products to support! Pencils are nearly 30% volume (8 million Pencils every day) and 70% are other products.
    Making Pencil is most challenging but interesting business for me. Everyday I learn something new!!
    Happy Pencil making and Pencil writing to you all..
    Harshad Raveshia

  3. I am few years too late, but I am surprised you did not mention Caran d’Ache here as they gave name to pencil in Russian – ????????, same as pampers and diapers

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