The Blackwing 602 pencil began production in 1934 by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company. Stamped on the side, opposite the brand mark, was the slogan "Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed". This claim was meant to appeal to stenographers, as the 602 possessed the unique softness and smoothness of a 3B/4B lead but with the rate-of-wear of an HB. However the 602 quickly evolved from an office tool to that of the artist. Among these were animators Chuck Jones and Don Bluth, authors John Steinbeck and Truman Capote, and composers Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
By the 90's, the pencil was being ordered at such a low volume, that when the machine that produced its unique ferrule and eraser tip broke, the decision was made to cease production and sell off the remaining stock. It was officially discontinued in 1998. Meanwhile, individual Blackwing 602 pencils regularly commanded $40 or more on auction sites like eBay.
In 2008, California Cedar Products Company acquired the Blackwing name and introduced the imitation Blackwing 602 pencil, a close approximation of the original. A portion of all pencils sold benefits the Blackwing Foundation, which was established to support music and art education in schools. We love this brand, and stock each special edition volume as they are released.