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Long Live the Palomino Blackwing 602

palomino blackwing

Nostalgia for a legendary pencil no longer in production paves the way for its return.

For fans of the vintage Blackwing 602 pencil produced by Eberhard Faber from 1934 to 1998, a great pencil is hard to find.

Made legendary by John Steinbeck, Stephen Sondheim, and Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones, the Blackwing 602 featured smooth, dark lines and was known for its resilience. But in 1998, Eberhard Faber decided to cease production of the fabled writing utensil, forcing its cult following to pay as much as $40 for single, unsharpened examples on eBay.

The good news for Blackwing fanatics is that it’s back, albeit under a slightly different name. As Sam Scott reports in the January/February 2013 issue of Stanford, the Palomino Blackwing 602 produced by California Cedar Products Co. in Stockton, Calif., has earned recognition from enthusiasts as the second coming of the Blackwing. While it’s just an article about pencils, Scott’s piece about the resurrection of the Blackwing 602 is a fascinating look into how nostalgia still has value in our quickly changing society.


Image courtesy tsuacctnt, licensed under Creative Commons
joanna sandsmark
2/24/2013 6:24:54 AM

Fantastic! It is a fitting ode to the best pencil ever made (yes, I have my own hoard and even sold a couple for big bucks on ebay way back when) and to the two new ones that are affordable, gorgeous and fill that empty spot in all of our hands when we NEED a Blackwing and nothing else will do. Your tribute is worthy of the Blackwing and that's the highest praise I could ever give. Thank you for posting this.