When the great 19th Century American writer Henry David Thoreau made a comprehensive list of supplies for an excursion, he specified obvious items like a tent and matches, and added string, old newspapers, a tape measure and a magnifying glass.He also included paper and stamps, to make notes and write letters.Strange, then, that he omitted to mention the very pencil with which he was making the list. Stranger still, when you realise that Thoreau’s family made its money by manufacturing high-quality pencils.The pencil seems fated to be overlooked. It’s the theme of an old English riddle: “I am taken from a mine, and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost everybody.”We say the pen is mightier than the sword, but not the pencil – it’s too easily erased.
Source: Have we all underrated the humble pencil? – BBC News