Trivia

Hard

The Traditional Yellow Color Of American Pencils Is A Nod To?

The English Crown Jewels
The Ukrainian Flag
Sunflowers
The Orient

Answer: The Orient

At first glance, it would be easy to look at a bright yellow #2 pencil and simply write off the cheery color as the way things are. Perhaps pencils are simply yellow because school buses are yellow and children love primary colors. The truth behind how yellow pencils became ubiquitous in America is a bit more complicated, however.

Way back at the 1889 World Fair in Paris, a pencil company from Austria-Hungary named Hardtmuth displayed a new pencil called the Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth that featured a cedar-wood barrel, a lead made from a combination of clay and graphite, and a bright yellow paint job. The name of the pencil and the color was designed to evoke a sense of luxury. The name was a nod to the Indian diamond, the Koh-I-Noor, that was, at the time, the largest diamond in the world. The diamond was then, and remains, part of the Crown Jewels of England. The color choice was a nod to Oriental (Siberian) graphite—it was widely held at the time that the best pencil graphite in the world was of Asian origin, and yellow was closely associated with the Orient by people in the West.

American companies, seeking to capitalize on the association between the yellow paint job and the very high quality pencils produced by the Hardtmuth company, quickly copied their paint scheme and splashed their pencils with a bright coat of yellow paint. Eventually, the color became so closely associated with pencils that the majority of pencils produced in the United States still bear the bright color.

Trivia

Very Hard

For Centuries Wine Was Flavored With What Toxic Compound?

Trivia

Hard

In Victorian London Residents Enjoyed Up To A Dozen Deliveries Of What Per Day?

Trivia

Hard

Exposure to What Plant Makes Bees Very Agitated?

Trivia

Hard

The Outer Case Of The Atari Jaguar Game Console Lived On As A?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First SPAM Email About?

Trivia

Hard

The Point On The Earth’s Surface Farthest From Its Center Is Located At?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which 1980s Game Console Is Still In Active Production?

Trivia

Easy

Airplanes Are Regularly Struck By What?

Trivia

Hard

Video Gamers Contributed To Breakthrough Research For What Illness?

Trivia

Hard

Before The Apple Store, There Was A Chain Of Unofficial Apple Retail Locations Known As?