Brand: Eberhard Faber
Made in: USA
Van Dyke (or van/Van Dijk, Dyck or Dyk etc) is a surname of Dutch or Flemish origin. The soft if very hard to find.
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.