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Koh-I-Noor Drawing Pencils


The Koh-I-Noor pencil was introduced in 1890. It was a runaway marketing success and established a number of trends in pencil design that we take for granted now. One widely imitated feature introduced with the Koh-I-Noor pencil was the yellow finish. The Koh-I-Noor was not the first pencil to be painted yellow, but it was the first top-quality pencil to be painted at all. Previous high-end pencils, such as A.W. Faber's Polygrade Lead Pencils were finished in clear lacquer so as to highlight the quality and uniformity of the wood. Pencils painted in opaque colors had heretofore been seen as inferior to clear finished pencils, the assumption being that the finish was a method of hiding poor quality wood. All this changed with the Koh-I-Noor, and to capitalize on the success of Hardtmuth's yellow pencil, other makers introduced yellow painted pencils with exotic sounding names like Mikado and Eldorado.

Koh-I-Noor 1500 (US made)

L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc. / Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA




Box of one dozen US made Koh-I-Noor 1500 pencils.


Two sided divider card from a box of one dozen Koh-I-Noor 1500 pencils.

reverse

Koh-I-Noor 1500-I “Kolor-Koded” Drawing Pencils

L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc. / Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

The US made 1500-I was fabricated with leads imported from Austria or Czechoslovakia and used Koh-I-Noor's "Kolor-Kode" system of degree identification. The variants that do not say "L&C Hardtmuth were made after the U.S. company changed its name to Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph (in the 1970s I think).

Koh-I-Noor Kolor-Kode Designation
6B
5B
4B
3B
2B
B
Dark Blue
Dark Red
Light Violet
Lime
White
Purple
  HB
F
H
2H
3H
4H
Yellow
Light Blue
Brown
Light Red
Black
Dark Green
  5H
6H
7H
8H
9H
Orange
Silver
Pink
Light Green
Gray











Metal box of one dozen Koh-I-Noor 1500-I "DeLuxe" pencils.



Paper box of one dozen Koh-I-Noor 1500-I "DeLuxe" pencils.


Open box of one dozen Koh-I-Noor 1500-I "DeLuxe" pencils.
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph 1500-I

Koh-I-Noor 1500-I

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

production date
origin
available degrees
circa 1980s to (1990s)
USA
17: 6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
 
see also Koh-I-Noor Pencil History

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph catalog 1985, p 3-4
100 years after the Koh-I-Noor pencil started the yellow pencil standard someone in New Jersey thought it would be neat to make them red instead.