But what is a non-sharpening pencil (sometimes also called a pop-a-point pencil)? Well, it consists of a plastic body that contains a series of pencil leads (eleven of them, oddly enough). Each lead is about half a centimetre long or thereabouts, and is attached to this little white plastic thingamagig (don't mind my overly technical language here!). When one lead wears down, you can simply pull it out of the top, push it into the bottom, and ta-da! A new sharp pencil point will be revealed. No sharpening required.
|Contains small parts. Probably not recommended for children under three years of age or anyone else who may be tempted to eat their pencil. Even if it does have pictures of fruit on it.|
The pencils were made by Bensia, and came in a variety of colours and styles. One of mine (the green one that says "fruit collection" on it) was even scented, although the scent is long gone by now. The pencils came with a plastic cap with an eraser on the end (so that when the cap was posted the eraser would be in the correct location for erasing), although one of my pencils has lost its cap and another has lost its eraser. And the plastic caps are also very prone to cracking - all of my surviving caps have cracks in them.
|Cap with eraser, cap without eraser, missing cap.|
|This coloured pencil used to be my prized possession - and now is proof that I really have always been this hopelessly geeky about writing instruments.|
Have you ever used a non-sharpening pencil? Do you have any other favourite school or office supplies from your childhood that you have saved or that you remember fondly?