netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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While matociquala and I were taking a late lunch today, the postmistress dropped off something wonderful. I am now in possession of two dozen new Mongol pencils.

You see, the Mongol is the pencil. Woodclenched -- meaning it has a body of real wood -- and possessed of a unique "lead". The "lead" is a patented mix of graphite and a particular clay found in Mongolia (hence the name and the yellow color); it both writes smoothly and holds a point for a very long time. The Mongol is to mere pencils as the IBM Model M is to other keyboards.

Originally made by Eberhard Faber starting in the 19th century, the Mongol was the pencil by which all others were measured (right down to the yellow paint). A Dixon Ticonderoga dreams of being a Mongol when it grows up. The line disappeared from the US when the giant Newell corporation "rationalized" it's 1990s acquisitions and axed several competing pencil lines it had bought.

Now, after a long absence, you can again by new Mongols. Pencil Things now carries Mongols made under license in the Phillipines.

I sharpened one of the new arrivals and took it for a spin. It's the real deal. I am a happy man.

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