The New Yorker on the Blackwing 602


Blake Eskin writes about the Blackwing 602 pencil for The New Yorker's News Desk blog:

In June, I learned from the omnium-gatherum site Boing Boing that the Blackwing has been resurrected. I shared my excitement with our most experienced and revered copy editors — O.K.'ers, in New Yorker parlance — who still work on paper, with pencils.

Turns out Boing Boing and I were way behind my colleague Nancy Franklin, who still has a few dozen original Blackwings. Nancy informed me that Blackwing pencils first resurfaced last fall, but they were more tribute than clone.

Nancy ordered boxes of Palomino Blackwings for herself, and gave some to "three people whose proofreading has made my work better." But the O.K.'ers were not impressed.

California Cedar wasn't satisfied, either, so they came up with a second version—the one Boing Boing noticed—complete with the model number 602 and the pressure-speed formulation.

Nice article, but Mr. Eskin incorrectly stated that Boing Boing was "way behind" his colleague. In 2010, I received pre-production copies of the Palomino Blackwing and wrote about them here. (Like Ms. Franklin's O.K.'ers, I wasn't impressed with the first tribute pencil, either.)

Side note: About five years ago, Mister Jalopy and I contacted Charles Berolzheimer, president of California Cedar Products Co., to discuss the possibility of a partnership to resurrect the Blackwing 602. Mister Jalopy and I lost interest on the project, but Charles thankfully pursued it. The latest incarnation is a terrific pencil.

The New Yorker on the Blackwing 602