11 Things You Might Not Know About Pencils

Photo | Pixabay

Photo | Pixabay

Happy 158th birthday to the pencil with attached eraser! It was on March 30, 1858, that Hymen L. Lipman received a patent for his remarkable invention — a tube of wood with graphite at one end and a rubber eraser at the other. Lipman, born in 1817 in Jamaica to Jewish parents, came to Philadelphia around 1829. The family settled here, and Lipman became a stationer, selling paper, pens, ink and the like. In 1840, he started the first envelope company in the country. Eight years later, he married Mary A. Lehman, daughter of the founder of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (precursor to the University of the Sciences).

Lipman’s pencil had an eraser that was inserted into the hollowed-out wooden pencil the same way the graphite was; users could sharpen either end. In 1862 he sold the patent to one Joseph Reckendorfer for $100,000. Reckendorfer then sued the Faber company, a German pencil maker, for patent infringement. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled that the erasered pencil was simply a combination of two previously existing objects with no new use and therefore not a proper “invention.” Here are a few more penciled-in facts you might not know about both ends of every writer’s favorite tool. Read more »

Get the Best Spot on the Fridge This Year With These 7 Made-in-Philly Holiday Cards


You think the holidays are all about the gifts. Think again. What really stands out—literally, for at least a month, stuck to refrigerator doors, lined up on counters, tacked to bulletin boards—are the cards.

This year, I challenge you to forgo the Shutterstock photo option for the (letterpressed) road less taken. And it’s easy! Philly-based stationers are turning out cards that will win you top billing on fridges everywhere. Here, my favorite picks from seven local companies.

Click here to see them all.

Buy Every Single One Of Your Holiday Cards At Wayne’s New Stationery Store


Better than Papyrus. (Yes, seriously.) | Photos via Two Paperdolls.

Brides and letterpress fanatics have long known of the wonders of Two Paperdolls, the Main Line’s most cult-followed letterpress and design house. While they’ve always had a design studio in Wayne, it wasn’t open to the public. (Fans would have to shop the collection online; you still can do this, but it’s a drop in the bucket of all of TPD’s offerings.)

Now, just in time for holiday gifting (and those holiday cards which, REMINDER!, you need start thinking about!), they’ve opened a bigger, better studio in Wayne—with an attached brick-and-mortar shop.

More details here!

Nicole Miller Teams up with Philly Illustrator for Ultra-Fashionable (Free!) Stationery

Photos via The Atelier.

Photos via The Atelier.

We at Shoppist HQ are positively gushing over local illustrator and designer Melissa Noucas’s stationery collaboration with Nicole Miller. Using NM’s fall ’14 collection as inspiration, Noucas used watercolor and gouache to paint the leather, studded and feather-bedecked runway looks.

The best part? You can download your own set of notecards for free. Just print files on an 8.5 x 11 inch cover weight card stock and cut along the lines. Cards fit in an A6 envelope.

Now, go grab a fountain pen, stat.