Staedtler


Staedtler at the discounter

In Europe Staedtler stationery is a familiar and regular special buy at Lidl, a discount supermarket chain.

I’m happy to see that Staedtler stationery is now also available at their competitor Aldi, a similar and probably better known discount supermarket chain. I don’t remember seeing Staedtler products at Aldi UK before.

It’s of course no wonder that all the pencils where sold out when I saw the Staedtler stationery. There were only a few erasers left.


Nine 11

Today is Bleistift’s ninth birthday.

Well, since we’re on the topic of Mars Lumographs: it looks as if Mossad likes the Mars Lumograph ..at least in the BBC’s 2018 TV series of John le Carré’s 1980s spy novel The Little Drummer Girl.

Terrorist Salim gets a pencil to write to his sister – The Little Drummer Girl, episode 2 (Image © BBC)

Staedtler’s Mars Lumograph is a good choice: The pencil still looks quite similar to how it looked in the late 1970s / early 1980s, when the story takes place, and it would have been easily available to Mossad agents in Munich.

Charlie gets a pre-chewed pencil to write in her diary – The Little Drummer Girl, episode 3 (Image © BBC)


The images in this blog post are from the BBC series The Little Drummer Girl. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Stationery Factlets #6: Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of mechanical pencil leads 6

Time for another stationery factlet: Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler made lead holders and leads for the lead holders for a long time. Below is a page from their 1935 catalogue.

Staedtler Catalogue 1935

Staedtler Catalogue 1935

When thinner lead diameters were introduced Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of these thinner leads – the kind of leads I would refer to as mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler’s catalogues from the 1960s don’t seem to show pictures of these leads, but the catalogue from 1970 does – and it shows a very familiar lead container.

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

The Mars lead container still has the same shape today, but the plastic is now transparent. The opening of this lead container has the perfect diameter for refilling Mars micro mechanical pencils as you can see in the old video from my 2015 neox blog post.


I would like to thank Eberhard Rüdel for his detective work regarding my mechanical lead questions.