Year: 2010

My favourite eraser

My favourite eraser is, without a shadow of a doubt, the Faber-Castell 18 71 20 Dust-Free eraser …or its little brother, the 18 71 30. There are many good erasers. I like Sanford’s Artgum eraser, I sometimes use the Staedtler Mars plastic stick eraser and also cannot really complain about some of the high end erasers I use, like the Graf von Faber-Castell Ersatzradiergummi

…but none of them matches the comfort and softness of the 18 71 20 / 18 71 30. It does not smear and it does erase like a dream. It is made in Malaysia, like many of Faber-Castell’s erasers, and is suppossed to be dust-free, which refers to the fact that the eraser waste twists up into strands. There are similar erasers out there, for example Flomo’s Non-Dust eraser from Shanghai, but they are usually not as soft and do not erase as well.

Faber-Castell’s dust-free eraser is relatively new, it has only been introduced in 2004.The retail price in the UK is around the £ 1 ($ 1.62; € 1.14) mark, often a little bit higher.

I would be happy to hear what you think of this eraser. Is it only me or do others also think that this eraser is so much better than any other eraser? If you have a chance to try this eraser out, please give it a go.

Flomo Non-Dust (left), 18 71 30C (middle) and 18 71 20 (right)

In case you wonder about the notebook you can see in the photos. It’s a A4 spiral divider notebook with coloured index tabs, made from FSC paper (70 g/m²). It was sold in the UK through Lidl stores and is, as far as I know, made by Zebra Papierverarbeitungs GmbH. It should be available from ProNa.

Price and exchange rates: November 2010

Peanuts 60th Anniversary Moleskine

As I mentioned earlier there are new limited edition Moleskines available to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Schulz’s Peanuts. I first read about the Pac-Man edition in Office Supply Geek’s newsletter which in turn lead me to the Peanuts edition.

This is my first Moleskine. I have used similar notebooks in the past, but somehow I have never bought one from Moleskine Srl / Modo & Modo Spa. My first surprise came when I saw that Moleskines are made in China. I assumed they are made in Italy, but (as Lexikaliker would write it) a quick google search extensive research has shown that they are made in China since 2006. Contrary to the popular believe, I come across quite often, made in China does not equal inferior quality: I have seen many items of extremely high quality that are made in China …but without going into too much details about currency exchange rates etc, I would like to say that I was quite surprised to see Moleskines are made there because similar notebooks made in “high wage countries” are not more expensive than Moleskines (limited edition or not) – I just assumed Moleskines were made in Italy because of the high price …but of course I cannot blame Moleskine Srl or its parent company for trying to milk the cash cow by increasing their profit margin. In the end they are a company and want to make profit.

I ordered this Moleskine from WHSmith’s online store – they were the cheapest shop I could find. This A6 Moleskine was £7.43 ($11.93; €8.56). I have not yet been able to find the limited editions on the high street or in shopping centres (Paperchase, WHSmith, John Lewis, …). It feels nice and well made, though I have seen similar notebooks where the workmanship seems to be better. The coating above the spine feels a bit loose but should be able to cope with daily use.

The notebook comes with Peanuts stickers

Price: October 2010

Exchange rates: November 2010

Staedtler promotional tins 2011

Next year Staetdler will release “nostalgic metal tins” as a limited edition. There will be tins for the Mars Lumograph, the Noris and the Tradition (yes,  this time with an upper case “T”).

I assume that that only the tins have the nostalgic look and that  the pencils inside will have the modern look.

Fantastic! I hope I will be able to buy some before they are gone. Getting this years 1835-2010 set was difficult enough.

Wooden Letter Rack with Draw

No, you don't have to store your envelopes upright...

A few weeks ago our local Past Times shop sold many items at a reduced price.  Past times is a UK retail chain selling vintage looking gifts influenced by different design periods. Among other reduced items they had this wooden letter rack from their Wit & Wisdom collection [1]that’s why there is a quotation on a plaque. I bought it for £12.60 ($19.90, €14.20), the original price was ~ 50% higher.

There's a lined drawer for the more precious pencils

Price: September 2010, exchange rates: October 2010

I would like to thank Henrik for the Stresemann and Sean for most of the rare pencils you can see in the photos.

Two less common items in this photo: ink from Bach’s Tinten and a Kronenheft notepad.


1 that’s why there is a quotation on a plaque

History of the Lead Pencil has a nice page about the history of the lead pencil, where you can also find a picture of an early pencil vending machine.

If you search for “pencil vending machine” in the search engine of your choice you might be surprised how many different types of pencil vending machines there still are today.

…and a last link: some authors still start the process of writing a book on a piece of paper. Award-winning children’s author Donna McDine used her favourite Graf Von Faber-Castell pen for the first draft of her latest book. The only question remaining is: was it a pencil?