Graphite pencils are usually made from graphite which is a mineral formed when calcium carbonate reacts with carbon dioxide in the air. The material of choice for graphite is sand, however any suitable metal can also be used. Graphite sticks nicely to anything and is commonly found used in making pens and pencils.
What is the purpose of graphite?
Graphite plays an important role in the design of pencils by giving the pencil a certain “inkiness” which is crucial when writing with pencil. It is also used to make the writing more aesthetically pleasing by its resistance to acids and so on. Graphite is also the material by which the metal cap of many fountain pens comes. To learn more about the process of making a pen, click here.
How can you tell when a pencil has turned into graphite?
This is done by rubbing your finger against a graphite pencil. This makes it easier to detect that the pencil has turned into graphite. If, after applying the acid, the graphite seems to melt onto your finger, then the pencil has turned into graphite.
How do you get a graphite pencil for a particular pencil design?
To find out, click here
Graphite pencils in the British Navy (1860-1860s)
When a British Admiralty vessel was in distress, the captain ordered it to be fitted with an experimental graphing instrument. It was then kept aboard the ship and would periodically change its design until it was perfected by an unknown engineer. It is said that one could buy a graphing pencil for 100 pence, and the inventor of the tool is widely said to have been John Harrison. (This is a variation on the well-known anecdote of the “Black Jack” who sold his writing implement without payment for the first time!)
Although the instrument was not widely available, it appears that it was known to have been used sometime between 1755 and 1810.
How did it go, and who made it?
This mystery instrument, known as the “graphite pencil” was created in either 1810 or 1810-23 depending on where in the world you go to and who you ask. It was originally manufactured by Captain Henry Gwynn in Bristol and was made to look like a pencil. It does not look like it was made for the purposes of graphing, but rather as a novelty to allow some of officers, sailors and men to use
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