Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 137,258 pages of information and 220,097 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1796 E. Wolff and Sons was founded
The reputation of its pencils was such that they found their way into markets all around the world.
c.1840 the source of natural graphite was exhausted. The price of graphite rose strongly. Elias Wolff conceived the idea of mixing powdered graphite with clay. This mixture he ground between millstones until he obtained the necessary fineness. Adding the necessary amount of water he then continued with a process of wet-grinding. Then he removed most of the moisture and compressed the compound, now in its desired state, into thin strips for laying into the wood. This became the basis for the pencil business.