Tuesday, October 19, 2010

“This is the Anatomy of an Eagle”

From Life, May 28, 1956, a full-page ad marking 100 years of the Eagle Pencil Company:

[Click for a larger view.]

From the four corners of the earth we gather these rare ingredients for Eagle pencils!

Smooth, silvery graphite from Ceylon and Madagascar . . . jet black graphite from Mexico . . . slick, oily clay from Bavaria. Malayan rubber . . . straight-grained American cedar . . . pigments from nature’s secret storerooms everywhere.

Even the arctic seas yield spermaceti, the whale oil wax that helps make Eagle Mirado the smoothest-writing pencil you’ve ever used. And from the foundry’s inferno comes brass to make the gleaming tips with Eagle’s familiar Red Band trademark.

But the rarest ingredient of all is not shown in the picture. It is Eagle’s 100 years of experience . . . experience in refining, blending, assembling . . . in research, testing and quality control. That experience is the ingredient most important to you.

There is a specialized Eagle pencil for every purpose: Mirado, the world’s largest-selling writing pencil . . . Verithin, the strong-pointed colored pencil . . . Turquoise, the finest of drawing pencils . . . and hundreds of others. To find the most efficient of these for your kind of work, write for your copy of our full-color booklet, “The Pencil Selector.” It’s interesting, helpful, and free.
If you’re wondering . . . those cedar slabs are called pencil slats.

A related . . . post
Eagle Turquoise display case

comments: 6

Anonymous said...

Very nice!

I suspect "whale oil wax" would not be mentioned in a modern ad.

Gunther said...

Amazing! Thank you for unearthing and showing it.

Michael Leddy said...

Anon., yes, spermaceti has lost its cachet.

Gunther, the magazine offerings in Google Books make for great browsing. So many ads!

Gunther said...

Michael, I don't dare to browse for ads because I would risk to be unhappy with my small ad collection ;-)

John said...

Ick, I wonder if whale oil would even be legal anymore, with whaling bans?

I ran across some info on the web before about "vegan pencils." Seems there's beeswax in leads, or used to be? Charles B. told me a few years ago that it's probably paraffin these days.

Michael Leddy said...

John, this thread might be what you remember. In response to the question “Where do pencils come from?” I’m content to say “From the stationery store!”