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What is a left-handed pencil?

No, it's not a joke! there really is such a thing. But it's nothing to do with the way that it writes - it's the way that the text is printed.

On an ordinary pencil the text runs from the tip to the head - so that it is the right way up when held in the right hand. That's upside down for us south-paws. If you're right handed you may need to go and get a pencil to try this for yourself. (if you're left handed you'll have noticed this before!). Lefties have always been a favourite of mine

Where do they come from?

I often wonder how some pencils come to be made left handed:

  • Do manufacturers make a proportion of pencils this way with left handed people in mind?

  • Why are advertsiing pencils sometimes lefthanded, do companies specify a left handed model, or do manufacturers supply them without asking?

  • are pencils ever made intentionally in both right and left handed versions?

Statistics: About 5% of my pencils are lefties, but this may be distorted recently by my swaps - I have asked people to send me left handed pencils if they can. I would be interested to hear from other collectors what proportion they have.

I have only one pencil in both left handed and right handed versions. (Morgan Guaranty Trust Co of NY, Black Text on a std US Yellow Pencil). I also have a left handed Mikado, which I know also appears in right handed versions.

I would be interested to hear of any other pencils which appear both ways round.

I am always interested to receive left-handed pencils (of any sort) in a swap

If any manufacturers read this then I would love to hear from you.