Yearly Archives: 2021


Nearly ten years of The Pen Addict Podcast

Christmas, as well as the New Year, are coming closer. It will be nice to have a few quiet days with less work, and no doubt many Bleistift readers will want to catch up with everyone’s favourite stationery podcast over the holidays.

It’s hard to believe that the Pen Addict podcast will be ten years old in 2022.

I thought I use this opportunity to update the Pen Addict ‘statistics’ I posted in preparation for the 300th episode. In 2018, at the time of that blog post the episodes got around five minutes longer per year and I made a tongue in cheek comment that that episode 1000 they should be more than two hours long. It’s a bit like the (infamous) forecast that in the future everyone will be an Elvis impersonator.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the rate of episode length increase wasn’t sustained over time. Below is the latest version of the diagram showing the episode length over time.

Each dot represents an episode. Early episodes are on the left, recent episodes are on the right. Short episodes are at the bottom, long episodes are at the top.

I marked the outliers on the image below. At the top right, in red, we got the longest ever episode, episode 450, clocking in at 133 minutes. At the bottom left we got episode 33, one of the few episodes with an episode number that is greater than its length in minutes (episode 46 is another one of those).

Please have a look at the Pen Addict Podcast page on stationery.wiki. You can easily sort all episodes, e.g. by length, by clicking on the little arrows in the header row and explore all episodes. We’d also be happy if you contribute to the other stationery knowledge recorded there. It’s a resource available to everyone.

You will have also noticed the more horizontal lines in the diagram. The black line is a straight linear regression line. The blue curve is a LOESS (local regression) curve, which is a bit more ‘flexible’ than the straight line.

In the image below you can see that in the first years (marked as ‘a’), until about 2015, we had a strong increase in episode lengths, mainly caused by the fact that early episodes were rather short. From then on, until about 2018 (marked as ‘b’) we had a very slow increase in episode lengths and since then (marked as ‘c’) we have a slow decrease in episode lengths. In the last few weeks he had an average length of about one hour per episode. The LOESS curve is moving (roughly) from 65 minutes per episode to 60 minutes per episode.

I hope you enjoy the holidays (if there holidays wherever you might be). If you have some time on your hands, please catch up with your favourite podcast and/or contribute to our stationery.wiki.
As usual, the data and the code used for this plot are available on GitHub. This time it is also available on kaggle.


Karandash Krasin

This is a Russian-made Krasin pencil [1]Their web site has Karandash in the name. You might be familiar with the story of the Swiss company Caran d’Ache’s name who is named after a cartoonist who in turn named himself after the … Continue reading.

Two years ago I was lucky enough to have met the Pencil Talk editor in person. He gave me a set of six Krasin pencils and some other very nice stationery-related items. I thought I wrote a blog post at the time, but when I checked a few days ago I wasn’t able to find it, so am posting about the Krasin pencil now. Some of the other items were also very special, so I might show some of them in the future.

You can find out more about the Krasin pencils on the pencil talk web site.

If you are on a computer please click on the images to see them in full resolution.

References

References
1Their web site has Karandash in the name. You might be familiar with the story of the Swiss company Caran d’Ache’s name who is named after a cartoonist who in turn named himself after the Russian word for pencil.

Trimline 3594

Dixon Trimline 3594

Discovered in our Scout group’s hut, this American-made Dixon Trimline not only made it into Europe, it also managed to survive several decades hidden between other pencils and kept in pristine condition.

Notice the slim and elegant font and the blind-stamped U.S.A., left of the writing.

A smidge of the beautiful orange paints seems to have made it’s way into some of the knurling on the ferrule.

The last photo ended up a bit blurry, but if you are using a computer to read this then please have a closer look at this pencil by clicking on the (other) photos to admire this pencil’s details.


12 and Count Alexander von Faber-Castell 7

Just a quick blog post for today’s 12th anniversary of the Bleistift blog:

One of Count Alexander von Faber-Castell’s estates, Wolfgangshof, maybe five miles from Faber-Castell’s headquarters, was recently used as the backdrop for a TV show about Franconian folk music (as far as I know the first TV show of its kind).

Wolfgangshof Anwanden (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license)

There doesn’t seem to be any geoblocking going on as I can watch this video here in the UK without problems. It is available from the BR Mediathek (from Bavaria’s public-service radio and television broadcaster).

Count Alexander von Faber-Castell was the first “Faber-Castell” Count – before his marriage he was known as Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen.

You can read more about him on Sean’s Contrpauntalism blog or in my blog post Schwanberg and the Pencil Cedar.


America Standards 8

Earlier this year, in Spring, I imported some pencils from the USA.

It won’t come as a surprise that they are painted in yellow/orange and that they are eraser-tipped.

The whole look of these pencils, including the name, America Standards, and the way they are printed makes them look like a ‘big pencil’ that you’d imagine to be available and sold all over the USA…
…but as far as I can tell the company behind the America Standards pencil is a small-ish company that registered a few trademarks and uses them to resells goods made by other manufacturers.

In the case of the America Standards pencils there is a big emphasis on the fact that they are made in Tennessee. I assume they are made by Musgrave, but they might, of course, also be made by Wagner or Moon Products.

I ordered the pack of 24 in a wooden pencil box, which doesn’t currently seem available, but you can still get the pack of 100. Previously there has also been the America Standards Mammoth pencil with a jumbo grip.

Importing into the UK always attracts customs and import duties, but the pencils are beautiful and the wooden case seem really special, so the extra I had to pay seems well worth it.