Within the Shadow of a Pencil

A lot goes into a pencil, and a lot comes out of it.

At first glance, this ubiquitous object might seem like such a simple tool, but that can be a little misleading. There is a large-scale complex manufacturing process: many trees are harvested and cut into slats, and the "lead," which is made from graphite, which is a carbon compound, clay, and water, has origins in the earth. The ingredients all come together, mesmerizingly orchestrated by a series of conveyor belts, and form a "lead sandwich." 

Had it not been for the pencil, we, as a society, would probably not have been able to record, create, communicate, and learn the way we do today. History was written with a pencil, and a pencil has its own history.