A Brief History
from Bill Bean, former President
People like to collect things - match books, twine, barbed wire - even pencils. Lester C. Taylor, a professor at Sterling College, Kansas, and several of his family members and friends were interested in writing instruments of all kinds. In 1955, Taylor started writing and distributing a newsletter called "The Pencil Collector". By 1958 the group had grown to 191 persons who became the charter members of the American Pencil Collectors Society. Today there are over 300 active members, including teenagers, retired people, and members from other countries.
The first of many biennial conventions was held in 1963 at Culver Stockton College, Canton, Missouri. Since then the convention, usually in July, has been at several small colleges around the U.S. The conventions are an opportunity for members to display their collections of wood pencils, mechanical pencils, ball point pens and fountain pens. The public is invited to attend and see the displays. Items such as models of log cabins, windmills, and other structures made entirely of pencils are also likely to be on display. Buying, selling, and trading of individual writing instruments or whole collections occur at the convention, which usually concludes with an auction.
New members are assigned a membership number which stays with the person or immediate family member; the number is never reassigned to anyone else. It is customary but not required to have wood pencils or ball point pens printed with a member's name, complete address, and APCS membership number. These "number woods" (or pens) are traded and collected by the members. New members' names and addresses are published in the monthly newsletter and shortly thereafter other members may offer to make trades through the mail.
Persons interested in joining the APCS should visit the Membership Page for information.
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