Pencils and accessories.
"If one should make a lead himself! Imagine mankind disappeared and you have to make a lead! – magic!" (Arno Schmidt) The name is misleading. A lead does not contain any lead. This only applied to its predecessor in the 15th century. Dürer, for example, used lead-alloyed or tin-alloyed leads. The history of the pencil as it is today, only began in the 17th century. At that time the English graphite mines were discovered and mining activities began. Graphite is predestined to be used as pencil leads due to its solid body structure (the lattice layers of the graphite slightly slide away from each other when under pressure). The graphite leads sawn from one piece were real treasures. This remained the case until the end of the 18th century, when the Frenchman Nicolas Jacques Conté and the Austrian Josef Hardtmuth developed a method to produce graphite leads ceramically. They mingled graphite dust with clay and baked the leads in the oven. Here, the hardness of the lead is determined by the amount of clay and the firing time. The grade is indicated – from soft to hard – with the acronyms B (black), HB (hard-black), F (firm) und H (hard), whereby the B and H variants are further differentiated by the numbers 2 - 9 (the higher the number the softer or harder the lead).