The First Pencil Was a Failure
The first attempt to invent a pencil was not successful. It was made of powdered or pulverized graphite. The result was a poor quality pencil that easily broke. Graphite and clay should be mixed well to produce a proper kind of pencil. This was done by the man who invented the pencil properly. All quality pencil makers today, owe it to the first pencil maker who perfected the right formula for it.
A French Army Officer Invented it
In 1795, a French officer belonging to the army of Napoleon invented and patented the first quality pencil on earth. Nicholas Jacques Conte or simply NJ Conte discovered that ground graphite, when mixed with the right kinds of clay, produced the best lead for pencils. Pencils do not really contain lead. The black thin material in pencils is a mix of graphite, carbon, and clay. NJ Conte, the first pencil maker, turned graphite into powder. Then he mixed it with moist doughs of clay and pressed the thing to make thin sticks. He then cooked it in a kiln. This man who invented the pencil, outdid his German counterparts.