Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pedigree 600 Series Colored Pencil (Blue and Red) - Empire Pencil Company

One of the reasons for my less-than-frequent posting over the last few months has been because my fiancee and I have been dealing with my father's estate (he passed away in February). On a lighter note, I came across this 2-pack of pencils from what is likely the late 50s or early 60s.

I initially thought he pack was open, but it appears that plastic had just become brittle and was a bit crushed from its years being moved from junk drawer to junk drawer. Though I am less of a pencil guy than some of you out there, I am a sucker for retro items, especially writing ephemera.

At any rate, since the pencils were accessible without destroying the packaging, I slid one out this evening to try it.

 I am not sure how many pencils were made by Pedigree (Empire), and I wasn't able to find much out about the company even. According to a preliminary search, Empire purchased Berol, which was acquired by the Sanford corporation (Newell Rubbermaid), per Wikipedia ->

Using a toothy notebook, I wrote out a few lines, and both sides of the pencil write like a dream. I'm not sure if this was meant for any particular trade (drafting, accounting, etc.), but I could see myself using these without complaint. These are advertised as being like a crayon, and that's exactly what it felt like - a bit waxy, but very smooth, and the consistency was way better than any crayons I've used before.

For their age, these are a sweet. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with these, but I will probably pass them off for someone else to review or include them in an upcoming giveaway.

If you have experience with, or knowledge of, the Empire Pencil Co., please leave a comment!


  1. Replies
    1. Bernabe - yeah, I'm not sure how old they are; I tried to find a date, but there isn't one!

  2. These were common until about 1980 or so. Pedigree pencils were often sold at dime stores like Woolworth's. The red-and-blues were used by accountants but also dentists (red for cavity, blue for healthy). Red-and-blue pencils are still made, but they are thinner than the Pedigrees and not as nice to write with. Also the tone of blue is more sparkly on the modern ones. The Pedigrees were perfect in every way. What a shame that such wonderful American products have ceased to be.

  3. adair - It's awesome that you have this knowledge. E-mail me your address, and I will send them to you. :)