Yellow pencils at the Musgrave Pencil Co. facility in Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA
© Luke Sharrett/Getty Image
Any spare room in your pencil case?
For centuries, the pencil was a tool so vital that many would use theirs until only a tiny stub remained. An entire market for various pencil accoutrements existed in the 18th and 19th centuries, including a pencil-grip, called an ‘extender’ that allowed you to use the last stub of a pencil so as not to waste what was, at the time, a precious commodity. Think of it in terms of all the things you buy to enhance your mobile phone or tablet, and then imagine that your pencil once held equal value as a communication device. (In our hearts, it still does.)