Group of Three Eagle Pencil Company Drawing Leads

Two of these leads are 5-1/8" in length and are marked: SSWS MADE U.S.A. U.S. PAT. 1,832,654 (/) 3H EAGLE TURQUOISE ® ELECTRONIC 3H. One lead is 4" long and marked: SSWS MADE U.S.A. U.S. PAT. 1,832,654 (/) 2H EAGLE TURQUOISE ® ELECTRONIC 2H.
Adolf Pischel of New York City and Paul Pischel of London, England, applied in Germany in 1928 and in the United States in 1929 for patents on a process that made a plastic from "earthy matter," graphite, and Turkey red oil, forming the plastic into pencil leads. They assigned their U.S. patent to the Eagle Pencil Company.
German immigrant Heinrich Berolzheimer opened Eagle Pencil Company as a pencil shop in New York City in 1856, with a factory in Yonkers. By 1880, the firm made mechanical pencils as well as pens and erasers. Its Turquoise line of drawing leads was widely sold in the first half of the 20th century. In 1969 the company changed its name to Berol Corporation, and the Empire Pencil Corporation purchased it in 1986.
These objects were received and are stored with a set of drawing instruments, 1985.0909.01. The set was owned by Harald Trap Friis (1893–1976), a Danish emigrant who became a prominent radio engineer for Bell Labs.
Reference: Adolf Pischel and Paul Pischel, "Process for Manufacturing Rods from Plastic Materials" (U.S. Patent 1,832,654 issued November 17, 1931).
Currently not on view
Object Name
leads, group of three
date made
Eagle Pencil Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 13 cm x .6 cm x .2 cm; 5 1/8 in x 1/4 in x 3/32 in
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Drafting, Engineering
writing implements
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Pens and Pencils
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from Library of Congress, Exchange and Gift Division
Additional Media

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