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!
Eagle Canadiana pencil crayons were made at the Eagle factory in Drummondville, Quebec. This factory operated under the Eagle brand from 1931 until about 1969 when the company changed its name to Berol, the shortened surname of the company's founder Daniel Berolzheimer. I've seen written that the first Canadiana pencil crayons were made around 1951.
The boxed set of eight pencils above is an early set. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautifully made sets of colored pencils to have been produced in Canada. Check out these photos of a similar set from the Pencils and Other Things blog. The pencils inside don't have the white imprint or area for a signature that the pencils below have.
The version of these pencils shown above has a spot for you to write your name on them just like the Laurentien pencil crayons. I believe that the stylized letter E trademark seen on the pencils below started being used around 1960.
When Eagle changed its name to Berol in 1975, Canadiana pencils continued to be produced but now with the Berol brand name. The pencil crayons from Eagle appear to start at number 501 (with Crimson Red) while the Berol versions seem to start at number 551 (also with red). I know that Berol had a set of 60 colours. I'm not sure how many colours were available in the Eagle sets.
The packaging above was used from about 1975 to the mid-1980's. The set of pencils shown below is a more modern version. The pencils are the same but the packaging and the gold lettering are changed.