|Hymen L. Lipman changed our lives when|
he invented a pencil with a built-in eraser.
Pencil facts: a single pencil can be used to write out about 45,000 words, or draw a line about 35 miles long; The Star Spangled Banner was written with a pencil; It took more than 300 pencils for John Steinbeck to write his novel East of Eden; Both Thomas Edison and Johnny Carson had special pencils made for themselves.
Edison's pencils were stubby, about three inches long and extra wide, with a softer graphite that wrote darker than the standard ones. Johnny seemed to relieve tension behind the desk at The Tonight Show by tossing and catching pencils, often drumming along with the band during commercial breaks. To avoid any accidents on the set, he had his "pencils" made with erasers on both ends.
|Lipman's simple, elegant design.|
Sometime today, put away the laptop and the cell phone, find a pencil somewhere, and use it. Leave technology behind, even for just a moment, and use a pencil! Write a note inviting a friend out for coffee and put it in the mail. Wouldn't that give your friend a fun surprise for a change, instead of the hurried, impersonal feeling of a text or e-mail or voice mail invitation?
Sketch a stick figure selfie of you and your dog sitting on the Town Hall benches licking the first ice cream cone of the season, or some such little event or occasion, and put it on your refrigerator. Draw another one of yourself tossing bread to the seagulls at Herring Cove and send it to your sister in Albuquerque. Whatever your drawing skills might be, she'll be touched to think that you spent a few moments to create something low tech and personal. And remember, 156 years ago today, this new pencil was the technology. Happy Pencil Day!