Volume 23, Issue 4 (October 1978)
A Scientific Study of Pencil Lead Components
The term “lead” pencil is a misnomer in that the pencil contains no lead but rather is composed of three primary ingredients in varying proportions: graphites, clays, and waxes . Since its introduction during the 16th century, the pencil has become the most widely used writing instrument throughout the world. Americans yearly consume over two billion pencils, with the U.S. government and Bell Telephone System being the largest purchasers. It has been reported that enough pencils are produced every year in the United States to supply every American with one pencil every 40 days.