The history of Ticonderoga pencils is an interesting story that begins in 1812. Pencils are used today for a variety of uses and come in various styles and forms, as well. Keep reading to learn more about how this company revolutionized the way we look at pencils.
In 1812, Joseph Dixon made his first pencil and the idea was born. From that point, he went to work establishing his company and in 1827, he started what would later become known as the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company. In addition, this company began selling graphite to people to use as stove polish and later evolved to marketing graphite as a heat-resistant product. He moved his company to Jersey City, New Jersey where he had built his new factory. As popularity for the pencil grew and the demand increased, Dixon invented a machine that was able to produce pencils at a faster rate of 132 pencils per minute.
The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company became incorporated as a public company in 1868. In 1869 Joseph Dixon died, leaving his son-in-law in charge of the company. By 1872, the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company was manufacturing pencils in mass production, making 86,000 pencils per day. In 1873, the company purchased the American Graphite Company, which was based in Ticonderoga, NY. Moreover, in 1873, the Dixon Ticonderoga pencil is released to the public.
Throughout the years, this highly successful company began acquiring and merging with other companies such as, the American Crayon Company in 1957 (which helped them acquire Old Faithful pencils, Prang crayons, and Tempera art supplies). And later, took over the Wallace Pencil Company and their production facility located in Versailles, Missouri. And in 1983, the original company merged with Bryn Mawr Corporation and became known officially as, the Dixon Ticonderoga Company. After the name change, Gino N. Pala was named CEO and their main headquarters moved to Vero Beach, Florida. From that point, Dixon bought out another company, David Kahn Inc. and picked up their product, Wearever writing utensils.
From there, the headquarters moved its headquarters twice, once in 1990 to Maitland, Florida and again in 1996 to Heathrow, Florida. A year after the move to Maitland, Florida, and the company bought Vinci de Mexico and Dixon Ticonderoga released Prang Soybean Crayons. In 2000, a manufacturing company was built in China. 2003 brought changes to the company making it purely a consumer products company. In 2004, production in the United States ended when the company was bought out by the Italian company, Fila-Fabbricca Italiana Lapis Ed Affini S.p.A. They continue to manufacture writing utensils and the Ticonderoga pencil in factories located around the world in Asia, Italy, France, Germany, and Latin America.
These fine products can be found today all across the United States in department stores and office supply stores around the country. High-quality Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are available in various forms including, #1 (Extra Soft), #2 (soft), #2 1/2 (medium), #3 (hard), and #4 (extra hard). The design of these pencils is yellow, black, or American naturals, which is a woodtone. And the metal band for the eraser is green and yellow. Eraser options can be found in traditional pink or black. Another option is the “My First Ticonderoga” which is a thicker, round option that was designed for smaller fingers. This company also manufactures a “Green” option called the EnvironSTIK, which is eco-friendly and contains no coating and features a green eraser. Since 2008, the Ticonderoga Company has made a variety of writing/drawing utensils including dry erase markers, permanent markers, and highlighters, as well.
We hope you have learned some interesting information about the rich history of Ticonderoga pencils how the company got its start.