The exhibit came to our museum from the German-American Heritage Center in Davenport, Iowa. It tells the story of the German-born carpenter Friedrich Staedtler, who in 1662 became the first person to register a pencil business. 350 years later, the Staedtler business has expanded overseas to the United States, making it more long standing than its largest rival, Faber-Castell, founded in 1761.
This unique exhibit explored the significance of the pencil manufacturing industry to German heritage and culture and brought to life an often unexplored part of German history. Visitors to the exhibit were about to learn about Friedrich Staedtler, but also about cross-Atlantic industry and how the German pencil industry became intertwined with the United States. The exhibit also featured creative art pieces done by renowned artists that are composed entirely of Staedtler and Faber-Castell pencils.
Yes, there is a point to pencils, and like many other items we use on a daily basis, the humble pencil has a German heritage, too.