Join FunTrivia for Free: Hourly trivia games, quizzes, community, and more!
Fun Trivia
Ask FunTrivia: Questions and Answers
Answers to 100,000 Fascinating Questions
Welcome to FunTrivia's Question & Answer forum!

Search All Questions

Please cite any factual claims with citation links or references from authoritative sources. Editors continuously recheck submissions and claims.

Archived Questions

Goto Qn #

Did "lead" pencils ever really contain lead?

Question #127582. Asked by SterlingT.
Last updated Nov 02 2012.
Originally posted Nov 02 2012 8:54 AM.

Answer has 6 votes
Currently Best Answer
16 year member
141 replies

Answer has 6 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Although lead has not been used for writing since antiquity, lead poisoning from pencils was not uncommon. Until the middle of the 20th century the paint used for the outer coating could contain high concentrations of lead and this could be ingested when the pencil was sucked or chewed.


Nov 02 2012, 8:56 AM
Leeasa star
Answer has 6 votes
Leeasa star
12 year member
110 replies avatar

Answer has 6 votes.

Nov 02 2012, 8:57 AM
Answer has 5 votes

Answer has 5 votes.
No, Lead faded as a material for writing long before the pencil came in to use. Most pencil cores are made of graphite mixed with a clay binder, leaving grey or black marks that can be easily erased. Graphite pencils are used for both writing and drawing, and the result is durable: although writing can usually be removed with an eraser, it is resistant to moisture, most chemicals, ultraviolet radiation and natural aging. Around 1560,[13] an Italian couple named Simonio and Lyndiana Bernacotti made what are likely the first blueprints for the modern, wood-encased carpentry pencil. Their version was a flat, oval, more compact type of pencil. Their concept involved the hollowing out of a stick of juniper wood. Shortly thereafter, a superior technique was discovered: two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together-essentially the same method in use to this day.


Nov 02 2012, 9:00 AM
free email trivia FREE! Get a new mixed Fun Trivia quiz each day in your email. It's a fun way to start your day!

arrow Your Email Address:

Sign in or Create Free User ID to participate in the discussion