Carpenter's Pencil


This pencil was grouped with a number of pencils found in the pocket of a tool belt used by Jillian Gross while working for Habitat for Humanity, a not-for-profit, non-government organization advocating affordable housing around the world. Carpenter pencils have an two wide flat sides to keep them from rolling. The graphite core is generally wide and flat, making it easy to mark course materials when using the flat side while using the thinner side for precision marks.

When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Jillian Gross had worked with Habitat for Humanity for three years learning woodworking and house-building skills. Groups such as Habitat for Humanity marshaled volunteers, tools and lumber to step in when it became clear that normal avenues of housing assistance were overwhelmed.

In November 2005, Habitat for Humanity launched “America Builds on the National Mall,” a demonstration house-building marathon in Washington, D.C. in which the basic components of 51 homes were assembled within a week and shipped to the Gulf Coast. Upon completion of the project Ms. Gross, one of the house building leaders during this event, donated her tool belt, tools and protective wear to the Smithsonian Institution.

Location: Currently not on view

Associated Place: United States: Louisiana, New Orleans

Related Event: America Builds on the National MallHurricane Katrina


See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Clothing & Accessories, Cultures & Communities, Family & Social Life, Engineering, Building, and Architecture, Work, Industry & Manufacturing


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Jillian Gross

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0276.33Catalog Number: 2005.0276.33Accession Number: 2005.0276

Object Name: Pencil

Physical Description: wood (overall material)graphite (graphite material)Measurements: overall: 6 1/8 in x 1/2 in x 1/4 in; 15.5575 cm x 1.27 cm x .635 cm


Record Id: nmah_1323275

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.