Pencil Lead Refills
Here at The Online Pen Company we know that pencils can be as important as pens, which is why stock some of the highest quality pencil lead refills.
Although the standard way to reuse a pencil is to keep it sharpened, a mechanical pencil requires a lead refill. With top brands such as Cross, Faber-Castell, Lamy and Parker available you can be sure you’re getting the highest quality refills here from our online store.
With packs available with as little as three refills and as many as twenty, there is something for everyone's requirements. Whether you’re a student, professional or a creative, our refills are an affordable way to increase the life of your favourite mechanical pencils.
History of Mechanical Pencils and Lead Refills
Conrad Gesner first described a leadholder mechanical pencil in 1565, however the lead had to be manually adjusted in order to sharpen it. From then on, the earliest recorded example of a working mechanical pencil was found on board the wreckage of HMS Pandora, which sank in 1791.
Years later in 1822, the first patent for a refillable mechanical pencil with lead-propelling mechanism was issued to Sampson Mordan and John Isaac Hawkins.. After buying out Hawkins' patent rights, Mordan opened a business and formed a partnership with Gabriel Riddle from 1823 to 1837. After almost fifteen years, Sampson Mordan decided to end the partnership but continued to manufacture pencils under "S. Mordan & Co". The company manufactured mechanical pencils and a wide range of silver objects until World War II, when the factory was unfortunately bombed and business ceased.
Between 1822 and 1874, there were more than 160 patents that were registered to a variety of improvements to the original mechanical pencil, thus meaning the first spring-loaded mechanical pencil was officially patented in 1877 and a twist-feed mechanism was manufactured in 1895. A 0.9 mm lead was first introduced in 1938, followed by it’s sister 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 sizes. Eventually, 1.3 and 1.4 mm mechanisms were added to the mix, followed by 0.4 and 0.2 versions which are now being produced by select brands.
After years of production and sales, the mechanical pencil finally became successful in Japan when a metal worker who had just finished his apprenticeship developed some serious improvements. Introduced as the "Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil", it was a great improvement on previous mechanical pencils. Although the success was not immediate, the mehanical pencil began selling in huge numbers after a company from Tokyo and Osaka made some very large corporate orders. Soon after, Hayakawa's company developed their own name from that pencil: Sharp.
Today, almost every major writing instrument company manufactures their own mechanical pencil - making them a common accessory for students, professionals and creatives alike.