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CUMBERLAND PENCIL MUSEUM
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Drive-by - moved slightly so no need for gloves now!! (18.07.09)
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Legend has it that in the early 1500s, a violent storm in the Borrowdale area of Cumberland led to trees being uprooted and the discovery of a strange black material underneath. This material turned out to be graphite, and shepherds began using it to mark their sheep. A cottage industry of pencil making soon developed, culminating in the formation of the UK's first pencil factory in 1832 and became the Cumberland Pencil Company in 1916.
“Producing the finest pencils in the world has been a passion for the Cumberland Pencil Company since it was formed in 1832 and that passion and commitment to excellence has been inspiring artists worldwide for many years and continues to do so. “
Alongside Keswick's last working pencil factory at the north-west of the town, (now relocated to Workington), the Cumberland Pencil Museum, which celebrates over 175 years of pencil making in Keswick, shows the history and process of pencil making.
Enter the museum through a replica of the Seathwaite graphite (or wad) Mine (see GC1Q1K7), where graphite was first discovered, journey through the history of pencil making, see the world's longest pencil and the kids can follow the quiz trail and express their creativity in the Drawing Zone.
On show at the museum is the RAF’s wartime pencil – given to all servicemen before flying on missions over Germany. The pencils contained a rolled up map of Germany and a compass where the eraser tip should have been. The Germans never discovered this wartime secret (and it wasn’t a geo-caching kit either !!).
The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words. More than 2 billion pencils are manufactured in the U.S. annually. If these were laid end to end, they would circle the earth nine times - bet you didn't know that! Enjoy!
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Last Updated: on 7/19/2018 10:21:48 AM Pacific Daylight Time (5:21 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum