Monday, January 28, 2013

Made In The USA – General Pencil Company, Inc.

General Pencil Company is a family owned business. It has been owned and operated by the Weissenborn family since 1889. Edward Weissenborn, a brilliant mechanical engineer, founded one of the first pencil factories in America. He learned the art of pencil making in Germany while working for the I.I. Renbach Lead Pencil Company. In 1854, he came to America to establish his own pencil factory. In 1860 he accomplished just that.

After assisting in the design and construction of the Civil War battleship, the USS Monitor, Edward set up his pencil factory in Jersey City Heights, New Jersey. It was called the American Pencil Company.

The American Pencil Company quickly earned a reputation for producing quality pencils. They received hundreds of letters praising their products, including letters from four members of President Lincoln's cabinet. In 1866, letters of commendation were received from the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York City.

His speech was widely quoted in the American Press, and it came to the attention of the British authorities. Oscar went to Washington to plead his case at the British Embassy, but the British were adamant. This left the American pencil manufacturers unable to get their leads out of Germany. Oscar experimented and came up with a way to make his own leads. Many of General Pencil's unique drawing formulas were created in those years.

In December of 1923 his operation became General Pencil Company. In 1927, his son, Oscar E. Weissenborn, entered the family business. Later his three sons, Oscar A., James, and F. Hill entered the family business.

In 1965, General Pencil expanded operations into California to become closer to the incense cedar supply and to the Western markets it was developing. Oscar A. Weissenborn took over as President in the 1970's, and James Weissenborn became CEO in 1979. James expanded the product line, and increased the sales and distribution capacity of General Pencil to become a worldwide supplier of fine art and craft products. James has led the company since then, and continues to inspire creative and innovative products for the fine artist. While selling pencils and managing the company, James has managed to pass along his passion for pencils to the fifth generation of the Weissenborn family.  

Contact: PO Box 5311 Redwood City, CA 94063  650-369-4889


Do you want your business printing made in the U.S.A.?  Then please contact MI Printing and tell us about your printing needs.  We are ready to listen and help.

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MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302