The beloved Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencil (Its slogan, "Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed," is stamped in gold foil on each pencil) went out of production in 1998. It sold for fifty cents. In 2002 you could get one on eBay for $10. They now fetch $30. How much with they cost five years from now?
I've written about the Blackwing on Boing Boing in 2002, 2005, and 2006. I guess it's about time for a new post about this incredible pencil.
Andy says: "As a pencil enthusiast, I recently bit the bullet and bought a Blackwing off eBay for thirty bucks. It was pretty awesome, but *perhaps* a bit over-hyped. I'm a product reviewer for pencilthings.com, too, so I posted a review over at the product blog. It's some advice for what a layman should to do if he or she is thinking about getting one."
I am impressed with the performance of the Blackwing. I might pay $5, or even $10 per pencil, but $35-$40 per actual pencil? I think not. Recently, eBay had a lot of 144 Blackwings, and that sold for about $1400. I almost bid on it, thinking that I could then make a fortune by splitting up the lot and selling individual pencils. But I stopped myself -- I love pencils, don't get me wrong -- because I couldn't bring myself to make a major (for me) investment in this particular writing instrument.
One of my joys of pencils is the fact that they're cheap. Even top-quality products like California Republic's various pencils aren't any more than a couple bucks apiece -- and that's at the higher end. If I go out and splurge on a couple unique pencils for my collection, my wife isn't going to get mad. I'm not collecting antique fountain pens, after all.
If you are looking for a good low cost pencil, try the California Republic Palomino HB ($5.15 for 6) and 2B ($4.75 for 6), sold here.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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