Here are a few tidbits for you to chomp on!
Way back in the Roman times they used what was called a stylus, which was a thin metal rod that was pressed very hard down on say papyrus ( which was a form of paper back then) it left a visible mark on the papyrus that was readable. As time went on styluses were made of lead.
In Borrowdale, England in 1564 they discovered a large graphite deposit. Graphite made a much darker mark then lead, but because it was softer and more brittle it would require a holder of some kind. At first it was wrapped with string to give it strength, then someone came up with the idea to hollow out a stick, cut a piece of graphite to slide into the hollowed out area and bing-go!! you have a wood cased pencil as we do today. Again these pencils were not made of lead but non-toxic graphite, even though we still call them lead pencils today. Interestingly the yellow paint on the outside of the pencil did have lead in it until it was banned from paint products.
The first mass produced pencils came from Germany in 1662. Until pencils were produced in America the early settlers depended on getting them from overseas, then of course the war with England ended all imports. In 1812 a cabinet-maker from Concord, Massachusetts named William Monroe started making the first pencils here in America. Yes they did have them on the Oregon Trail. In fact Journals that were written in by pencil were more apt to visibly last longer than ink.
Find out more about the shape, method and material that was used in this creation that we all need at some point in our life. The WONDERFUL and ever useful PENCIL