Eberhard Faber Pencil Company

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The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company began as a U.S. subsidiary branch of A.W. Faber Company in 1849. Eberhard Faber's great grandfather, Casper Faber, began to manufacture and market pencils in the village of Stein, located near Nuremberg, Bavaria (now Germany), in 1761. Casper Faber's son, Anton Wilhelm (A.W.), took over the management of the business in 1784 and grew the business. He eventually renamed it A.W. Faber Company. The company continued under several more generations of Fabers, until Eberhard Faber moved to New York City to manage a subsidiary branch of A.W. Faber Company.

The original New York City office of A.W. Faber Company was located at 133 William Street in Manhattan. In 1858, Eberhard Faber expanded its operations to include the manufacture of rubber bands and rubber erasers. This factory was located in Newark, New Jersey. Until 1860, A.W. Faber Company was still exporting its pencils to the U.S. In 1861, the company opened its first U.S. pencil factory on East 42nd Street, on what is the present-day location of the United Nations. After a fire destroyed the factory in 1872, the A.W. Faber Company moved its U.S. manufacturing to the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, although it kept its sales office in Manhattan.

When Eberhard Faber died on March 2, 1879, his sons Eberhard II (John) and Lothar W. took over the management of the company. After years of conflict between the German and U.S. branches of the company, the U.S. branch split ties with A.W. Faber Company. First incorporated as E. Faber Pencil Company in 1898 and finally as Eberhard Faber Pencil Company in 1904, the factory in Greenpoint grew to envelop two square city blocks bounded by Greenpoint Avenue, West Street, Java Street, and Franklin Street. In 1923, a new six-story building was also added. By 1924, Eberhard Faber Pencil Company had sales offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Dallas. The factory remained at its Greenpoint location until 1956 when it moved its operations and headquarters to Wilkes-Barre, PA. In 1987, Eberhard Faber Pencil Company was sold to A.W Faber-Castell.

Sources: Faber-Castell USA. http://www.faber-castell.us/14798/About-Us/index_ebene3.aspx (accessed June 29, 2010). Habstritt, Mary. "Eberhard Faber's Pencil Factory," Archive of Industry. http://www.archiveofindustry.com/images/EberhardFaberHistory.pdf (accessed June 29, 2010). The Story of the Oldest Pencil Factory in America. New York: Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, 1924.

From the guide to the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company collection, 1924-1988, (Brooklyn Historical Society)

Relation Name
associatedWith Florida State University Southern Business History Center. corporateBody
associatedWith J. Walter Thompson Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Korzenik, Diana, 1941-, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Greenpoint (New York, N.Y.)
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Pencil industry

Corporate Body

Active 1781

Active 1966


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