Category Archives : Sorted By Manufacturer


Deutschland 83 5

After The Game: Another TV series about cold war spies. Sean told me about this one. It’s called Deutschland 83 and its current IMDB rating is 8.5.

As the name suggests it takes place in 1983. Here’s a Castell 9000 in B you can see in episode 4, used by Professor Tischbier (Alexander Beyer) from the East German Secret Service.

A Castell 9000 in B (Image © UF Fiction)

A Castell 9000 in B (Image © UF Fiction)

Faber-Castell pencils from 1983 – sounds familiar, you might remember this previous blog post about the Castell 9000 pencils for their 222nd anniversary – that anniversary was in 1983.

Here’s a comparison of the modern Castell 9000, as seen in Deutschland 83 – with the water-based varnish side facing the camera, and the actual Castell 9000 from 1983. The green got even darker, the thick line on the end of the pencils changed from gold to silver/grey and the text printed on the pencils has changed.

Castell 9000, 1983 and now

Castell 9000, now (top) and 1983 (bottom)


The screenshot in this blog post has been taken from Episode Four of Deutschland 83. I believe that the use of the screenshot shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Different kinds of Noris

A Chinese Noris

The Noris got another good spot on the BBC’s programme. Again on the Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School programme. This time in the final episode, where it was used to write Chinese characters.

Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School (Image © BBC)

Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School (Image © BBC)

A Work Noris

Then something else happened: after more than ten years I got the first Noris from my employer! We usually get Lyreco pencils in the stationery cupboard at work, but last week and this week I did another task in another part of my employer’s organisation1 – and there was a box of Noris pencils in the stationery basket. Maybe the good stuff (the Noris pencils) is usually reserved for management and special occasions? We did get all the good stuff on the day: they did provide tea, coffee, biscuits, even Snickers etc2, so if they give us expensive food, why not expensive pencils, too? I wish we had Noris pencils all year round at work…

 

A School Noris

…and finally – more Back to School offers. This time in Sainsbury’s. Five Noris pencils for £1.12. Not as good as the Staples offer I mentioned recently, but at Sainsbury’s you don’t have to take five HBs, you can also take the ‘graded’ pack.


The screenshots in this blog post has been taken from Episode Three of Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School, a documentary on the BCC. I believe that the use of the screenshot shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. In case you are familiar with the UK Higher Education sector: I was doing clearing. []
  2. and there must have been a serious Snickers thief. Every day at least three shoe box sized baskets of Snickers, Mars and KitKat disappeared. I guess everyone would have had to eat at least five bars to make so much food disappear. []

Graphene, entrepreneurs and bad weather 2

Today: three different and unrelated topics in one blog post:

Graphene

First: a link that has to do with graphene (this is not the first graphene related blog post). The last episode of In Business, the Radio 4 programme that previously looked at Staedtler and Faber-Castell, had a closer look at graphene and what it means for Manchester.

As far as I know Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov used lumps of graphite, but I think I heard that in the beginning they used a pencil to ‘isolate’ graphene. I might have heard that on the Andre Geim Desert Island Discs episode, but it might have been somewhere else.

I like to imagine that it was a Noris or Tradition, just because they are so ubiquitous in the UK, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was another pencil. Imagine having worked in Staedtler’s Welsh factory in Pontyclun on the day the pencil that made this all happen rolled off the conveyor belt1.

Entrepreneurs

I received an email telling me about a new notebook for entrepreneurs. I don’t think I understood the entrepreneur angle, but according to the photos this is a very elegant looking notebook. It’s another crowdfunded stationery project.

Bad Weather

To make good use of the great weather yesterday we went to have a walk. Influenced by Sean’s blog post about the Graf von Faber-Castell pencil extender I got mine out and decided to use it again. I bought it more than five years ago. It was very cheap for a GvFC item, probably because it has lots of scratches. Here’s a picture I took during the walk.

Glasson

Within a few minutes the temperature suddenly dropped by more than 5°C. Luckily we (just) made it back to the car before the rain started.

Anyone has any idea how I can remove the scratches from the pencil extender, preferably without removing the silver plating?

  1. I guess it would be a bit like having assembled the NeXT computer that became the first web machine. []

Casualty 2

A casualty of the classroom – in Episode Two of Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School.

Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School (Image © BBC)

Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School (Image © BBC)

There were also at least two more Noris pencils and a Noris sharpener – with two million viewers on the BBC.

I’ll also use this opportunity to link to the Noris in the Wild page again.


The screenshots in this blog post has been taken from Episode Two of Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School, a documentary on the BCC. I believe that the use of the screenshot shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


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.

noris1100-box

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.

moris1100

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.

moris1100-graphite

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. []