Sunday Oct. 3, 2021’s Smile of the Day: Staedtler

On this Day:

In 1835, the Staedtler Company was founded by J.S. Staedtler in Nuremberg, Germany.

Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG is a German manufacturing company based in Nuremberg. The firm was founded by J.S. Staedtler in 1835 and produces a large variety of stationery products, such as writing implements (including technical drawing instruments), art materials, and office supplies.

Staedtler claims to be the largest European manufacturer of wood-cased pencils, OHP pens, mechanical pencils, leads, erasers, and modelling clays. Staedtler has over 26 global subsidiaries and nine manufacturing facilities. Almost two thirds of the production takes place in the four production facilities in Nuremberg, Germany, though some of its products are made in Japan. Its “Noris” line of pencils are extremely common in British schools.

The origins of the brand can be traced since the 17th century, when Friedrich Staedtler took over the totality of the pencil manufacturing process, from the lead to the wood. Nevertheless, that activity was forbidden by the Council of Nuremberg, which stated that the manufacturing had to be developed by two different experts. Finally, Staedtler’s work helped to abolish that regulation, therefore facilitating the work of other pencil manufacturers in Nuremberg.

The company was founded by Johann Sebastian Staedtler in 1835 as a pencil factory, first established in Nuremberg, but the roots of the company go back to 1662, when references to Friedrich Staedtler as a pencil-making craftsman were made in the city annals. Staedtler received permission from the municipal council to produce black lead, red chalk and pastel pencils in his industrial plant. In 1866, the company had 54 employees and produced 15,000 gross (2,160,000 pencils) per year.

In 1900, Staedtler registered the Mars brand (which represented the Ancient Roman religion god of war), using the name for some lines of products, also launching the head of Mars logo. In 1901 the Noris brand was released by the company.

In 1922 a United States subsidiary (located in New York) was established, It was followed by a Japanese subsidiary four years later. In 1937 the name was changed to Mars Pencil and Fountain Pen Factory and the product range was expanded to include mechanical writing instruments. In 1949 began the production of ballpoint pens, which started to be widely used instead of fountain pens (although Staedtler still produces the latter today).

In 1950 propelling pencils (or mechanical pencils) began to be manufactured, the first being made out of wood. Four years later, the “Lumocolor” brand was registered. This brand was used to design the wide range of Staedtler markers. The head of Mars became the Staedtler definitive logo in 1958. This logo has had several style modifications since then, the last in 2001.

In 1962 the company began producing technical pens. In the 1970s, Staedtler bought the Neumarkt factory, which used to be the Eberhard Faber factory. Nevertheless, in 2009 Staedtler sold the rights to the brand “Eberhard Faber” to Faber-Castell, although the company kept the Neumarkt factory, where Staedtler makes wood pencils nowadays.

As from 2010, Fimo (modelling clay products), Mali, Aquasoft and further brands were marketed under the Staedtler name. In addition, the company celebrated its 175th anniversary that same year.

Staedtler has won awards for its products, most recently for the Wopex Graphite Pencils (designed with “Teams Design”) and the Triplus line.

2008: Red Dot Award, Lumocolor Twister Dry Markers

2009: Bio Composite of the Year, Wopex Graphite Pencils
          ISH Design Plus Award, Wopex Graphite Pencils
          Red Dot Award, Triplus 776 Mechanical Pencils

2011: Red Dot Award, Triplus 426 Ballpoint Pens (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

Breaking News: Archaeologists believe that they have uncovered a cache of pencils that once belonged to William Shakespeare. However, a spokesperson for the dig said they are so badly chewed on the ends, they can’t tell if they are 2B or not 2B…

Second, a Song:

TED Conferences LLC (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an American media organization that posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TED was conceived by Richard Saul Wurman, who co-founded it with Harry Marks in February 1984 as a conference; it has been held annually since 1990. TED’s early emphasis was on technology and design, consistent with its Silicon Valley origins. It has since broadened its perspective to include talks on many scientific, cultural, political, humanitarian and academic topics. It has been curated by Chris Anderson, a British-American businessman, through the non-profit TED Foundation since July 2019 (originally by the non-profit Sapling Foundation).

The main TED conference is held annually in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Prior to 2014, the conference was held in Long Beach, California, United States. TED events are also held throughout North America and in Europe, Asia, and Africa, offering live streaming of the talks. They address a wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture, often through storytelling. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past speakers include Bill Clinton, Sean M. Carroll, Elon Musk, Ray Dalio, Cédric Villani, Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Temple Grandin, Shahrukh Khan, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Billy Graham, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Bill Gates, Dolph Lundgren, Bob Weir, Shashi Tharoor, Bono, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Leana Wen, Pope Francis, Jeff Bezos, and many Nobel Prize winners.

Since June 2006, TED Talks have been offered for free viewing online, under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Creative Commons license, through As of December 2020 over 3,500 TED Talks are freely available on the website. In June 2011, TED Talks’ combined viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, by November 2012, TED Talks had been watched over one billion times worldwide.[18] While TED Talks are available for free online for personal learning, sharing TED content in commercial contexts (for example, in corporate learning and talent development) requires a license (per Wikipedia).

Why are pencils shaped like hexagons, and how did they get their iconic yellow color? Pencil shop owner Caroline Weaver takes us inside the fascinating history of the pencil.

Small Thing Big Idea, a TED original series, celebrates the lasting genius of everyday objects so perfectly designed that they changed the world around them (per

Here is “Why the pencil is perfect” from the TED series, Small Thing Big Idea.  I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“What can a pencil do for all of us? Amazing things. It can write transcendent poetry, uplifting music, or life-changing equations; it can sketch the future, give life to untold beauty, and communicate the full-force of our love and aspirations.” – Adam Braun

Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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