pencil

Category: Daily Life | Type: Historical | Title: Emma (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Vol: Volume I | Ch: Chapter VI

Graphite was discovered in the English Lake District in the mid 16th century and was made into the first pencils. Initially thread, string, or fine sheepskin surrounded the fragile graphite. By Austen's time the pencil was being perfected with a wood casing. The phrase lead pencil is a misnomer originating in the early belief that graphite was a form of lead ore.

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