THE PENCIL KING!
What would we do without our pencils? We artists owe a lot of debt to the Godfather of pencil-making Johann Eberhard Faber. So brush up on your pencil history and start sketching out your tribute to Johann!
Johann Eberhard Faber was born on December 6, 1822 in the village of Stein, near the city of Nuremberg, in Bavaria. His father, George Leonard Faber, was a descendant of the famous Faber family, one of ancient lineage in Bavaria engaged in the profession of manufacturing lead pencils.
He did his primary schooling at a Volksschule and then enrolled to study law at the University of Heidelberg. But he left his studies mid-way to pursue a career in commerce in America.
He moved to the United States in 1848 and in 1849, opened a stationery store at No. 133 William Street, NYC. The store was later moved to Nos. 718-720 Broadway in 1877.
In 1852, he started to export red cedar logs to the Faber pencil factories in Stein, having realized that the red cedar available in America was ideal for lead pencils.
In 1861, he opened the first lead pencil factory along the East River, between 41st and 43rd Streets, New York City. The factory was established under the name of Eberhard Faber.
In 1872, a fire destroyed the factory in New York City, hence a new improved factory was built on a site on Kent and West streets in the Greenpoint district of Brooklyn. The new factory was designed for expansion and by the time Faber died his factory was the largest of its kind in United States and the Faber name was known all over the world.
Faber died on March 2, 1879 in New York City. Faber is interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.