The Yard-O-Led Pencil Company was founded in London, England in 1934 by a Mr Brenner to produce his patent propelling pencils which contained twelve three inch leads (that is to say, 36 inches or a yard of lead). After the Second World War the company merged with Sampson Mordan Ltd whose founder had patented the first mechanical pencil in 1822. They built a new factory in Birmingham and took over Edward Baker Ltd, another pencil maker.
Until 2015, the company was part of the Letts Filofax Group, and has now re-established itself as Imperial Yard Ltd. Yard-O-Led continues to produce expensive fountain pens as well as pencils; most of which are made from hallmarked sterling silver.
Notes and references
- Collecting Old Pencils, John Watkins, Collectors Press (1970,) ASIN: B000J2HUQG
- Victorian Pencils: Tools to Jewels, Deb Crosby, Schiffer Publishing Ltd (Oct 1998), ISBN 0-7643-0413-5
- The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, by Henry Petroski