Wagner: The All American Pencil Company

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The Wagner Pencil Company of Bakewell, Tennessee has been previously mentioned at pencil talk.

They rarely make the press – a 2010 safety award, and a 2017 fire are what I can find. But also, a three minute 2014 WTVC clip (below). One of the staff interviewed on camera previously commented on pencil talk‘s 2010 post!

What is so interesting about Wagner is that they make their own slats from Eastern White Pine! You heard that right – an American pencil pencil company that few have heard of, managing their own supply chain. I don’t know if they make their own leads – but not using slats manufactured in China makes them absolutely unique in the United States. Their pencil is as special and local as the Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood. According to their general manager, they’ve been around since 2002.

The WTVC clip mentions the Snowy Owl (a protected species) nesting in the Eastern Red Cedar as being a reason for that wood species no longer being used for pencil production. That is different than the story we most often hear.

I wonder if Wagner was involved in the production of the Musgrave Tennessee Red? They are two hours by road from Shelbyville.

I’ve tried to contact them, but haven’t succeeded. I would love to try their pencils and learn more about their story. They make novelty and advertising pencils – as a commenter wrote in 2010, you might be using a Wagner without knowing it!

(c) 2021 pencil talk

Wagner Pencil Co.

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Have you heard of the Wagner Pencil Co.? Based in Bakewell, Tennessee, they are mentioned in the Chattanooga Times Free Press for achieving an industrial safety award.

The safety award is impressive, but for pencil talk readers, the story of this company is probably even more interesting. I admit to not having previously heard of them. They appear to make advertising rather than retail pencils, which is probably why they are not in the spotlight.

What is most impressive is that they make their own slats from Eastern White Pine, and produce 75,000 to 100,000 pencils a day with a plant staff of twenty-three. They appear to be remarkably self-sufficient.

If I can learn more about them, I will report back.