Right hand side: Dr. Konstantin Czeschka (Image © Bayerischer Rundfunk)
To celebrate 350 years of Bleiweißsteftmacherhandwerk the Franconian and Bavarian regional news reported live from Staedtler’s factory on 25 September 2012. The reports were only a few minutes long.
Leads (Image © Bayerischer Rundfunk)
Dr. Konstantin Czeschka, Chief Technology & Production Officer, and Axel Marx, Managing Director, talked about the history of the pencil and included these interesting details:
- The graphite used for pencil leads is ground to particles whose size is in the range of a micrometer, one millionth of a metre.
- In 1900 there where 23 companies manufacturing pencils in Nuremberg. They employed 10,000 employees.
- One machine, shown on TV, can produce 1000 leads per minute.
- The pencil leads are heated to 1000°C
- The leads seem to be made in Nuremberg, but the pencils seem to be assembled in their factory in Neumarkt.
I thought Staedtler’s mechanical pencils are made there, but didn’t expect their pencils to be made there, too. I mentioned Neumarkt in a previous blog post when I wrote about the ONLINE All Wood Marone. ONLINE is based in Neumarkt, too, as is e+m Holzprodukte.
- Producing a pencil is a fairly automated process. You only need about 1-2 seconds of human labour time. 100 years ago about one minute was needed, 200 years ago it was about an hour.
- The price of graphite is expected to rise. One of the reasons is that it is needed for manufacturing batteries for electric cars.
The Noris being painted (Image © Bayerischer Rundfunk)
You can find reviews of products from e+m Holzprodukte at Lexikaliker and Lung Sketching Scrolls.
The images in this blog post have been taken from Frankenschau and Abendschau. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.