When tasked to name a favorite grade school feast, many might cite tater tots or johnny marzetti. Some might recall the tantalizing aroma of tacos as the cafeteria line moved at an excruciatingly slow pace. Still others might fondly reminisce of the wonderment that was Pizza Friday. But if honesty is the best policy, let’s indeed be honest; we chewed on nothing as often as we nibbled on our whittled down, trusted yellow number two pencil.
As did our father and his father and infinitely down the family tree. And the best odds are that the incisor-indented writing tool in our collective adolescent mouths came from Dixon Ticonderoga.
Based now in Florida, the office, school and art supply company was originally founded in 19th century Jersey City. Named after graphite mine magnate Joseph Dixon and New York battleground Fort Ticonderoga, the company has served as the go-to medium of communication, art and scholastics since its inception (“You can’t erase pen ink”, the teacher always said). While online text seems to reign these days, it is impossible to tally Dixon Ticonderoga’s importance over the years. Important correspondence, be it lamenting love letters from two souls separated by war, or a scholarly revelation of math or science, following hours of trial and error, the simple pencil has been both the background and forefront of personal and global history. Before technology made us lazy, a Dixon Ticonderoga made us earn it.
These days the legacy lives on. There is a charm to the DIY factor of life, and it is a model that we have all followed at some point, as will our kids, thanks to the Dixon Ticonderoga. Just remember the cardinal rule: never chew the metallic eraser holder. It’s hell on the teeth.