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HomenewsinternationalStaedtler: History And Ownership Of Company Behind Iconic HB Pencil

Staedtler: History And Ownership Of Company Behind Iconic HB Pencil

The HB pencil has been a staple in the Kenyan education sector for decades, trusted by professionals, students, kids, and school-going children alike. 

There are several brands of HB pencils, but the most common and preferred one is the HB Staedler, distinctive for its red, black, and white stripes. 

But have you ever stopped and wondered about who makes these pencils? 

In this article, WoK delves into the intriguing history and production of this iconic pencil. 

Staedtler History

The pencil is manufactured and sold by a company called Staedtler, one of the oldest companies in Germany. 

The company’s history can be traced back to 1662, when one Friedrich Staedtler began manufacturing pencils in Nuremberg, Germany.

In 1834, Johann Sebastian Staedtler, the great-grandson of Friedrich Staedtler, invented the wood-cased colored pencil. 

The company continued to innovate and expand throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. 

In 1872, the company opened its first factory in Nuremberg and began to produce mechanical pencils in 1901. 

In the 1950s, the company began to produce ballpoint pens.

Today, Staedler is a global leader in the production of writing and drawing instruments. 

The company has factories in Germany, Brazil, Japan, and the United States. Its products are sold in over 150 countries.

According to their website, their sale in 2022 exceeded 386 million Euros. 

Staedtler ownership

According to the BBC, Staedtler’s ownership is no longer in the Staedtler family.

It is fully owned by a private foundation called the Staedtler Foundation. 

Aside from manufacturing pencils, the foundation also supports scientific research at German universities. 

It has no bank debts, and in fact, the company is reluctant to take out bank loans for new projects, preferring to re-invest profits and expand more slowly.

The company has factories in Asia but still manufactures 80% of its products in Germany. 

Its most recent development is the Wepex pencils, manufactured in a secret process that uses 80% of wood from a tree rather than the 20% that is traditionally used to make pencils. 

How Staedtler HB Pencils are made:

The wood for Staedtler pencils is sourced from sustainably managed forests. The wood is carefully selected for its straight grain and lack of defects.

The graphite is mined from natural deposits. The graphite is then purified and ground into a fine powder.

The clay for Staedtler pencils is a special type of clay that is found in Germany. The clay is mixed with the graphite powder to create a paste.

The paste is then extruded through a die to create a long, thin rod. The rod is then cut into small pieces, each of which will become a pencil lead.

The pencil leads are then encased in cedar wood. The wood is then sanded and polished to create a smooth finish.

The pencils are then finished with a coat of lacquer to protect the wood and prevent the lead from breaking.

The entire pencil-making process is carefully monitored to ensure that the pencils meet Staedtler’s high standards of quality.

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