A virtual mini-museum of the halcyon days of the Canadian pencil industry.
Found a nice box with five unsharpened, Canadian made, Eagle Turquoise drawing pencils today at a second hand shop. Four 3H pencils and one 2H pencil. "Electronic" lead sounds super high tech.
In the 1960s there were four main pencil factories in Canada.
Venus Velvet 6557
The Venus Pencil Company Ltd. was established in Canada in 1931 as a subsidiary of the American Lead Pencil Company. In Canada, the Venus Velvet was given the number 6557 to set it apart from the American made Venus Velvet with the number 3557. Venus was purchased by Faber-Castell in the early 1970s (sometime after 1973) but continued to make Venus Velvet pencils.
Dixon Ticonderoga 1386
The Dixon factory in Newmarket, Ontario operated from 1931 to 1990. These pencils sport the distinctive green and yellow ferrule.
Eberhard Faber Mongol 482
These pencils were made at the Eberhard Faber factory in Acton Vale, Quebec. This factory was officially opened on June 28th, 1951. In early 1978, it became a division of Dixon-Ticonderoga and production shifted to eraser products and correction materials (through at least 2003). From what I can tell, the factory building is still there may still make erasers. While Mongol pencils are no longer made in Canada, these are still manufactured by Papermate in Venezuala and by Amspec in the Philippines.
Eagle Mirado 174
The Eagle factory was established in Drummondville, Quebec in 1931 and operated until 1994. In the late 1960s (1969?) Eagle changed its name to Berol and these pencils continued production under this brand name. Mirado pencils made by Papermate in Latin America are quite easy to find in North America and still carry the red-banded gold ferrule .
I compared four pencils from roughly the same vintage (mid-1960s to mid-1970s). Of these four pencils, my favourite to write with is the Venus Velvet. It is very smooth and held a point well. I was surprised by how soft the Eagle Mirado was. The HB Mirado was much softer than than even the B Mongol. I liked the Ticonderoga and Mongol and it was very hard to distinguish between these other than looks. My least favourite was the Mirado. It was just too soft and the point dulled very quickly. It also didn't sharpen quite as nicely as the others.