A virtual mini-museum of the halcyon days of the Canadian pencil industry.
Sometimes it is hard to date vintage pencils and sometimes you get lucky and you can pinpoint a fairly exact date. The Canadiana Combo Set below is an example of the latter.
The great thing about this set is that it includes an entry for a back to school coloring contest that closes on October 30, 1976. The coloring sheet is the same as the design on the front of the package. It also states, "to enter color the black and white illustration of Berol's new package". From this we can assume that this packaging was new in 1976. I had previously seen advertisements showing this packaging in 1978 and 1981 but I didn't know when it was first introduced. So, do you want to try out a vintage coloring contest? I scanned the entry just for you!
I typically write about graphite or colored pencils on this blog but today I bring you grease pencils. The are sometimes refereed to by different names for example China marking pencil or chinagraph. They refer to the same tool – a soft, greasy wax, commonly wrapped in paper rather than encased in wood. They are commonly used to mark smooth, shiny and non-porous surfaces like China (hence the name "China Marking"), porcelain or glass.
Blaisdell and Dixon appear to have been the two main Canadian manufacturers of grease pencils. I really know very little about the history of Blaisdell in Canada. Blaisdell made wooden graphite pencils in the US but I've never seen any Blaisdell products made in Canada other than grease pencils. If you know more, please let me know.