General Pencil Company

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The following was condensed from information supplied by General.
Last Update: August 15, 1996

Edward Weissenborn came to America in 1854 to establish his own pencil factory, after working for the I.I. Renbach Lead Pencil Co. in Germany. It wasn't until 1864 that he started the American Pencil Company in Jersey City Heights, NJ. This company was sold in 1885.

In 1889, Oscar A. Weissenborn, son of Edward, began making pencils in the family home. He called his business "The Pencil Exchange" and operated out of rented facilities until moving into his own factory in 1914. During World War I it became impossible to import pencil leads from Germany, and Weissenborn was forced to develop his own lead-making process. By 1923, the business had stablilized and then became known as General Pencil Co. and was located in Jersey City, NJ.

In 1965 General Pencil Company expanded its operations into California for better access to the incense cedar supply, while continuing its wood pencil production in New Jersey. (As of 1988, General Pencil Company is still owned by the Weissenborn family).

Today, General manufactures a variety of art and drawing pencils, as well as industrial and felt markers, and other products.

General Pencil Co.
3168 Bay Road
Redwood City, CA USA 94063
tel. (415) 369-4889

The Pencil Pages © 1996 Doug Martin