Learn how Chuck Jones, John Steinbeck, and others helped transform the Blackwing 602 pencil into a cult object.
THE STORY OF THE $40 PENCIL
THE RISE & FALL
Legendary Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer and Academy Award winners have created with the Blackwing 602 pencil. The list of known users includes John Steinbeck, Leonard Bernstein, Looney Tunes creator Chuck Jones, and Disney animator Shamus Culhane who, according to animation historian Charles Soloman, requested he be buried with his Blackwing 602.
Blackwing’s roots go back to the 1930’s when the 602 model was first introduced by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company. Over the years, the pencil with the unique rectangular eraser became synonymous with quality. Then, in 1998, after several corporate acquisitions, it was discontinued, but not forgotten. In fact, fans began paying as much as $40 on eBay for a single Blackwing pencil.
Artists soon noticed that Palomino’s range of premium pencils compared favorably to the Blackwing 602. They began asking Palomino to consider reviving the Blackwing brand, complete with its defining rectangular eraser. Palomino founder Charles Berolzheimer, whose family’s roots in the pencil industry date back to the mid 19th century, used the company’s unique supply relationships to re-introduce Blackwing pencils in 2010 featuring California Genuine Incense-cedar and premium Japanese graphite. The pencil has drawn rave reviews from users and national media attention.
In the last few years, Blackwing has grown from a single pencil into a culture. It’s a culture that encourages and empowers creativity in all forms, especially in our nation’s schools. In fact, a percentage of every Blackwing product sold benefits music and arts education at the K-12 level.