September 12, 2022
2 minute read
Took out the pencil box today for some design work on paper. Realized I had two versions of the “Pink Pearl” eraser, with two different company names, so I tried to date them.
I couldn’t find much on the company who originally invented this eraser, Eberhard Faber, or even when the first one was made. Their history may have fallen victim to their own pink-colored creation.
I saw some listings on eBay for Pink Pearls from the 1960s, and it’s definitely older than that, based on some 1957 ads. I think this is the same company that came up with the idea of erasers attached to pencils, and the famous Blackwing 602. I read Europe doesn’t like the idea of erasers on pencils and students are taught to write with pens, but I’m not sure how true that is.
Update: This article says it was invented in 1848. Thanks, ChrisT!
In 1987, Eberhard Faber was acquired by Faber-Castell USA, who was later acquired by Sanford in 1994. Sanford bought Paper Mate in 2000 and rolled Faber-Castell USA into the Paper Mate brand.
The smaller eraser in the photo was loaned to me by my mother before I knew what borrowing meant. Based on the acquisition dates, that would place it around 1987-1994, not including retooling time for the logo change.
The larger one I remember pulling brand new out of the box around age 10, so 2005-ish.
They both erase decently well, but I prefer the results of the older one. Either it was made with a different formula or the rubber is brittle from age, but it leaves behind smaller eraser noodles and needs less force. It’s not as good as some other erasers I’ve used and forgotten the names of. I remember using one that had almost no friction with the page and left behind a fine, sand-like dust. Maybe it had pumice in it? I need to find another one of those.