Oscar A. Weissenborn founded the General Pencil Company in Jersey after his father sold his pencil factory, the American Pencil Company. Originally named “The Pencil Exchange,” Oscar A.’s pencil factory struggled through World War I’s embargos on German products and became the General Pencil Company in 1923.
In 1927, the company became a family business as sons Oscar E., Oscar A., James and F. Hill joined the company. After a move to California and the seating of a new president (son Oscar A.), General Pencil Company expanded its product line to include fine arts and crafts instruments.
General Pencil currently employs 49 workers, some of whom have worked there for generations, and ships all over the world. It also owns 28 different patents for the pencil-making process. The paints are mixed in the Jersey City factory. Weissenborn said even the charcoal is a secret family formula.
Weissenborn said the company's pencils use sustained yield cedar wood from California, which has been harvested responsibly for more than a century. And, they also feature a semi-hexagonal shape to ensure they won't roll off the table.
While the holidays are really good for General Pencil, Weissenborn said the back-to-school season was big for the company, with everyone from parents and teachers to students and artists looking for pencils, and arts and crafts materials.
According to General Pencil Company