TBT: Empire Pencil & Pedigree Sharpener

Empire Pencil and Pedigree Sharpener - my grade school tools.

When I was in grade school, in the 80's, anyone who was anyone had this Pedigree pencil sharpener. This little plastic sharpener held a ton of shavings...of course, you had to pack them down to see just how long you could go without emptying it. At some point, it would open up in your backpack and it would look like a pencil factory exploded in there. Or one of the little notches that held onto the hinge section would break and the whole thing would be worthless.

I also thought these extruded Empire pencils were the "good" pencils...mainly because my parents rarely bought them for me. I usually got whatever was cheapest at K-Mart's back-to-school section, and these weren't. These pencils made amazing shavings flowers that roll up in a perfect spiral, and the core really was (and still is) smooth. These still feel like wood, unlike those Wopex that Johnny seems to love so much.

I found the pencil sharpener, still in the package, at a thrift store, and the Empire stub is courtesy of one of the many pencil cups hanging around my grandpa's house. These two things, together, bring me back to grade school. You KNOW I made a super-long shavings flower.

Of course, if I could go back, I'd tell my younger self that these pencils were trash and to beg your parents for a pallet of Blackwing 602s to hide and sell later.

One thing I never noticed until now: the Pedigree logo is just the Empire logo, upside-down.