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Learning Resources

F. P. Lovejoy, 1904

F. P. Lovejoy, 1904

Manufactured by FP Lovejoy, Springfield, VT, Pat’d Nov 22, 1904.

 

Do you know what this object is?

 

 

Some of the guesses we’ve heard at the front desk include coffee grinder or pepper grinder, as well as the correct answer:

It’s a pencil sharpener, made by F.P. Lovejoy in Springfield VT (still in business today, though they’re Lovejoy Tool now.)

 

 

We invite you to think about the different processes we use to simply sharpen a pencil:

Sanding or grinding it down, as shown here.

 

Gear-driven planing

The gears inside a crank-driven pencil sharpener, like the ones we had in school, are sharp to the touch.

An electric pencil sharpener uses the same mechanisms – although it’s encased in plastic, it yields the same type of shavings.

Hand driven planing

A classic handheld pencil sharpener yields a different type of shavings.

 

You can even bypass these techniques with a mechanical pencil.

And with this variety of techniques and tools, we still accomplish the same result.  It’s a question of the most appropriate tool for the job – the most convenient, or cheapest, or most precise!

Where’s the pencil sharpener nearest you?

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