Brand: Eberhard Faber
Made in: USA
Here we have the original Blackwing 602, celebrated worldwide as one of the finest pencils ever made. Eberhard Faber began producing these black stallions in the mid-1930s and continued through the late 90s (by then owned by Sanford). The 2nd from the top is the holy grail of the Blackwings with the sunburst neon painted yellow band. No doubt the rarest of all Blackwing pencils.
Why are Blackwing pencils so popular ... and so expensive? Here’s a blog post about the rising value of the original Blackwing 602. And take a look at two other Blackwing 602 pencils made by Palomino and Faber-Castell.
The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company was founded in New York City in 1861 by the German-born Eberhard Faber (1822-1879). The brand was essentially a spin-off from the family’s then 100-year-old company known as A. W. Faber. The American branch of the Faber pencil dynasty began in 1848 when the 26-year-old Eberhard went on a scouting trip for high-quality red cedar to ship back to his brothers Lothar and Johann’s pencil plant in Germany. By 1850, Eberhard had settled in New York and opened a stationery store in Manhattan while continuing to export cedar back to Stein.
Eberhard’s NYC operation was the first graphite pencil factory opened in the United States, originally located where the UN building currently stands. According to this fascinating 2007 report on forming an Eberhard Faber historic district in NYC, "Following a disastrous fire at the Manhattan plant in 1872, Faber moved the factory to Brooklyn, where it remained until 1956. The company is credited with bringing German lead pencilmaking techniques to the United States and Faber grew to become one of Brooklyn’s most important factories, employing hundreds of workers, most of which were women."
See the BNP blog for more interesting history on the Faber family pencil dynasty.