A Finnish Noris…

…, well – at least sharpened with a Finnish knife.


Ok, I admit it. I couldn’t resist. Not after A Franconian Noris, A Franken Noris and A French Noris, but I promise I will stop now.


I use this opportunity to mention the Noris in the wild page again.

As usual I think the pictures look best in full resolution.

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A French Noris…

..wallpaper, that is: A French Noris wallpaper – a new Noris related post after the blog post about the Franconia Noris and the Franken Noris.


You might remember Lexikaliker’s blog post from 2013 featuring the Noris 1100 pencil. Back then he told Sean and me where he got them from: they were from someone in France. I couldn’t resist and bought some, too. The seller was kind enough to include the packaging for one gross, probably because I bought the last ones he had.


I like the packaging so much that I use it as a wallpaper / desktop background on my computer. I asked Staedtler whether I could put scans of the packaging on my blog for download. I wasn’t sure whether they’d agree, because we are talking about a scan of their material, not just a photo pf a product, but Staedtler was kind enough to allow me to post Noris wallpapers for people to download and use.


Many modern monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, so I made two 16:9 wallpapers. I used the highest resolution I have heard of (Retina 5K) thinking that you can always scale down. I also made one wallpaper with an aspect ration of 5:4, which is the aspect ratio older monitors use. I know that they are other aspect ratios around, but I thought this should cover most – and, too be honest, I don’t expect anyone (except myself) to actually use these anyway.

Right click New tab or Download Linked File

Wallpaper: Right click New tab or Download Linked File

Wallpaper: Right click New tab or Download Linked File

Wallpaper: Right click New tab or Download Linked File

Wallpaper: Right click New tab or Download Linked File

Wallpaper: Right click New tab or Download Linked File


After I scanned them I started to remove the stains in a graphics editor but then stopped and thought “Why am I removing these when many logos etc have artificial marks added afterwards?1” – so I just left the stains. They do look nice I guess, and hey: the packaging nearly sixty years old. If the packaging was a British citizen it would get a free bus pass and heating allowance soon.

In case you are wondering: that’s Nuremberg on the packaging, where Staedtler is based. Here’s a photo so that you can compare the towers visible on the packaging to the photo (photo by DALIBRI licensed under the Creative Commons license).

Burgraviate of Nuremberg

Nuremberg Imperial Castle – photo by DALIBRI (CC license)

The image download instructions (Right click New tab or Download Linked File) are browser dependent. Depending on your browser and language settings the menus might have different names. Also right click in this context is just your secondary click. If you are left handed it might be the left mouse button.

For some amazing close-up photos and more information about the Noris 1100 please visit Lexikaliker.

I’d like to thank Staedtler for allowing me to make the wallpapers available for download.

  1. For example to look as if they were stamped or written on a manual typewriter or printed on paper. []
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A Franken Noris 3

See what I did there? I used the title of the previous blog post, but changed ‘Franconia’ to the German word for Franconia: Franken.


The association is now with Frankenstein’s Monster instead of Franconia. Just a reminder, Franconia is the area in Bavaria the size of Massachusetts where most German stationery manufacturers are from1.


…and what a monster I have created. Muah hua hua. An unholy mix of parts from Staedtler and Faber-Castell.


You might remember my recent blog post about me losing my Perfect Pencil. Well, now I do have a new one – a very special one. It’s the black version of the ‘Castell 9000 Perfect Pencil’. I first read about it in a blog post from Pencil Talk in 2010. As far as I can tell this version was for sale in Japan, from 2009 onwards.


I just hope I won’t lose it again, like I lost my green one after six years. The black version is much more expensive and more difficult to get. Including shipping the pencil cost nearly £30 (¥4644 for the pencil plus¥890 shipping) (~$45; €40), I wouldn’t have spend so much, as mentioned before I stopped buying expensive stationery, but I was in the lucky position to pick a gift I wanted.


The black of this Perfect Pencil goes very well with the black of my favourite pencil, the Noris. I think I will try out the pencils that came with the Perfect Pencil before changing to Noris refills.


I still have short eraser-tipped Castell 9000 pencils as well as official Castell 9000 Perfect Pencil refills, so next time I go to Germany, probably next year, I might also get a dark green Perfect Pencil again (which is only £5 over there).


Please click (or right click new tab) to admire the Perfect Pencil’s beauty in higher resolution.

Price: June 2015, Exchange rates:  July 2015.

I’d like to thank Sola for her advice that helped me get a black Perfect Pencil.

  1. as well as some other famous companies like Adidas or Puma []
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A Franconian Noris

Franconia Day

This weekend is Franconia Day (Tag der Franken) again, so I thought this blog post should feature some Franconia pencils – in the wild.

Juge Robin's pencil

Juge Roban’s pencil (Image © Son et Lumière)


According to Wikipedia “only two European regions continue to be associated with the Franks”1:

  • Franconia – to link this blog post to Franconia: it’s where the pencils in the following pictures were probably made (unless they were old stock)
  • and Île-de-France where the pencils in the following pictures were being filmed.
Juge Roban's pencil

Juge Roban’s pencil (Image © Son et Lumière)

These screenshots have been taken from Engrenages, where they used to use the BIC Matic last season.

While the magistrate is using Staedtler’s Noris the police is using the Tradition:

Staedtler tradition

Staedtler tradition (view in full resolution to see the pencil) (Image © Son et Lumière)

The Game and Clifton

Meanwhile, on the other side of the channel. Actually, not meanwhile, but kind of 40 years earlier: MI5’s Alan Montag is using a Staedtler Noris. There are a lot of pencils in the series, but usually they are unidentifiable yellow/orange pencils. For a few minutes I thought Joe Lambe’s accent is Irish until I realised it’s one of the different types of Scouse2.

Alan Montag listening in with a Noris

Alan Montag listening in with a Noris (Image © BBC Cymru)

The previous screenshot is from the great TV series “The Game” – from 2014, but set in the 1970s. In contrast here’s an MI5 pencil from the real 1970s – from the story Atout…coeur! / Hartkloppingen! from Franco-Belgian comic series Clifton. Burton and Taylor seems to be a reference to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, the design of the pencil seems to be based on the Staedtler Lumograph.

Clifton's pencil

Clifton’s pencil (Image © Turk & De Groot)

Make me Welsh

After the BBC’s Make me a German this time: Make me Welsh. Funnily enough the TV series The Game I just mentioned was produced by BBC Cymru Wales, too. Sean told me about this programme and sent me a screenshot showing pupils using Staedtler’s Noris (very common in British schools).

Pensiliau Cymraeg

Pensiliau Cymraeg (Image © BBC Cymru)



If that’t not enough Franconian pencils yet – there are plenty more in the latest season of Episodes. Episodes does again feature an extremely high density of Noris pencils per episode. I’ll skip the screenshot though as it would be virtually indistinguishable from the last one I posted.


Noris in the wild

To celebrate what is probably my favourite pencil, the Noris, I have put together a page from the different Noris in the wild blog posts, which can be found here.

Franken Bleistift

I would like thank Sean for the Make me Welsh screenshot.

I believe that the use of the screen shots, taken from Engrenages, The Game, Clifton and Make me Welsh falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. I’m not sure whether this claim is true, but nevertheless I’ll just repeat it here []
  2. I should have recognised it earlier …a few years ago I had a student with a very similar accent []
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Even more uses for cedar wood 2

Instead of using cedar wood to keep moths at bay why not use it (or should I say why not use it’s oil) to care for your beard?



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