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!
The great thing about commemorative pencils is that they are often treated as collectible items from the moment they are purchased. I came across this pencil made by the Eagle Pencil Company in Drummondville, QC commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. The pencil is in amazing condition, you could mistake it for new if not for the dried out eraser. I've seen this same pencil in white and silver as well as the gold one that I have.
The top of the pencil says, "EAGLE, CANADA, No. 1953".
The bottom of the pencil says, "God Save the Queen" on one side and "H.M. Queen Elizabeth II" on the other side.
I found a nice bunch of vintage Canadian made pencils yesterday. Included were three Eagle pencils I don't have in my collection: an red Academic 40-HB, a Valor 131-H and a Mirado 172-2H. The 172 is the no ferule version of the more common 174. I also found a nice Venus Medalist - 1605 HB. While this pencil has no ferule, I've seen older versions of this pencil with the number 727 and a ferule with a green band.
The Study 808 is a jumbo sized pencil created for early elementary students learning to write. I don't have very many Empire Pencil Company pencils made in Canada. I'm assuming that these pencils were made in the old Eagle factory in Drummodville, QC. Eagle became part of the Berol Corporation and later Berol was purchased by Empire in the mid-1980s. The two-pack of Study pencils seen below say Montreal, Quebec, Canada at the bottom.
Eagle Alpha 245
The Empire Study pencil is very similar to the Eagle Alpha pencil also made in Canada and probably at the same factory in Quebec. The Study might be a slightly larger outside diameter.
The Eagle Pencil Co. of Canada Ltd. had a factory located in Drummondville, Quebec. This factory was located at 201 St. Jean St. in Drummondville.
Around 1970 Eagle changed its name to Berol and continued production of Mirado pencils. Berol was purchased by the Empire Pencil Company in 1987 but they continued to manufacture pencils under the Berol name into the 1990s. In the mid-1990s, Sanford bought numerous pencil companies including Empire/Berol and not long after the factory in Drummondville was closed.
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.