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What’s new

a reverse chronological history of Leadholder

Dennis B. Smith, curator

page 12

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2008 May 7 — 2010 March 29

I’ve augmented the “key” system of little icons (see lower left) and added one to indicate that a gallery entry contains pictures or a discussion of the mechanics of a pencil: exploded view. When I had the idea to call attention to gallery entries with mechanics, I thought I would have many more than I actually found. This will, I hope, encourage me to include more mechanics in the future.

One drawback to the Pencil of the Day (POD) feature—it has become the default way of adding new items to Leaholder. So lately I have neglected to put up any What’s New announcements. So just FYI, almost all the PODs are new additions to Leadholder and some are just new variants or nicer examples of already listed items.

The new Leadholder Forum has launched. Poke around and let me know what you think. And best of all, you can leave your thoughts in the forum, instead of emailing them to me where they will just get buried and I won't have time to reply. My hope is that with the Forum up I can pop in and answer questions quickly and other users can answer them also, taking some of the burden off me.

Staedtler micromatic 05
A marvelous Staedtler micromatic fully automatic pencil has joined the Thin Lead Drafting Leadholder Gallery. Supporting materials include:

Staedtler 1987-88 catalog
A German edition Staedtler 1987-88 catalog which features the micromatic.

US patent
US patent 4,538,934 which explains the mechanics of the micromatic.

And you’ve no doubt already noticed the new “Pencil of the Day” feature.

I have added many new items and made many corrections and additions too numerous to enumerate. Here are a few highlights:

Two superb and unique examples of early leadholders courtesy Allan Macdonald (Who, by the way, has far-and-away the most extensive collection of thick lead leadholders known to me.):

unknown 1800s leadholder
An incredible early 1800s leadholder.

Elliott Brothers
A very elegant modular leadholder/pen from a tool set by Elliott Bros. of London.


Damascus 6400
Added an unusual Richard Best Pencil Co. Damascus 6400 to the Drafting Leadholder Gallery.

Damascus Drawing Pencil
Damascus Drawing Pencil
Damascus Drawing Pencil
Damascus Drawing Pencil
Added three examples of the Richard Best Pencil Co. Damascus Drawing Pencil to the Wood Cased Drafting Pencil Gallery.

Pilot H-587
Added a Piot H-587 to the Thin Lead Drafting Leadholder Gallery.

Pilot S-20
Added a wooden Piot S-20 to the Thin Lead Drafting Leadholder Gallery.

Almost Nearly 10 Year Anniversary Leadholder Auction Leadholder Auction Update:

Two of the Leadholder Auctions have successfully ended. Congratulations to the winners. There are now ten auctions in progress.


I had an actual brick-and-mortar encounter with another pencil geek, Jeremy Ledford. We met and swapped pencils and pencil lore and that was great fun. Some of you may have visited his blog which has just recently moved to a new URL and has a new name, Pencils 11Link Opens in New Window. He specializes in micro-thin lead pencils especially Japanese brands and in particular Pentel and Pilot. I have added the pencils I got from him to the scan que which with luck means they might appear on these pages in... sigh.

Morilla ad
Added an ad for the Morilla models 1945 & 1946 drafting leadholders to the Vintage Advertisements Gallery.

Morilla 1946
Updated the a Morilla 1945 & 1946 entry in the Drafting Leadholder Gallery.

A few more items have been added to the Leadholder Auction. Many more yet to come.

B.K. Elliot, 1938
Added a 1938 B.K. Elliot catalog to the Catalog Gallery courtesy Andrey Gordenco.

Pilot H-569
Added the Pilot H-569 to the Thin Lead Drafting Leadholder Gallery. This one mine, but I did buy it from Andrey Gordenco. In fact, most of the thin lead leadholders I’ve been posting and will be posting have come from Andrey’s Pencils. I don’t know where he gets all his stuff. Some of it is new, but he seems to turn up many vintage items as well, and he ain’t finding them on eBay.

Almost Nearly 10 Year Anniversary Leadholder Auction Leadholder Auction Update:

Another gem has been added to the Leadholder Auction. I will try to add several more items today and tomorrow.

Oh this is fascinating. An auction savvy reader, David Pye, wrote to inform me that my crazy auction system of giving the winner the item for the price of the second highest bid is not unique. It’s called a Vickrey auctionLink Opens in New Window.

I am in the process of getting caught up on my pencil correspondence so if you wrote me or ordered from the shop and haven’t gotten a reply yet, please be patient, I will answer them all. Here’s a tip: because I am so backed up I have abandoned trying to reply to everything in strict chronological order. I am answering new messages as well as working my way through older ones, so If you re-email you might get a quicker response.

Added two pencils from Mitsubishi to the Thin Lead Drafting Leadholder Gallery:

Mitsubishi Uni M5-552
Mitsubishi Uni M5-552.

Mitsubishi Uni U5-703
Mitsubishi Uni U5-703.

Added two pencils from Ohto to the Thin Lead Drafting Leadholder Gallery:

Ohto SP 500M
Ohto SP 500.

Ohto Promecha 1000
Ohto Promecha 1000.

Super Special Announcement:

The first official Leadholder auction is now in progress!

And it is a special item that kicks off the auctions. A model and maker that until now was not shown or even mentioned on Leadholder.

You need to be registered to view the auction pages. I’m not trying to be a jerk and harvest personal info, the registration is required because it helps to prevent fake bids.

Before registering you might want to look at How do the auctions work?

What’s new

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