The Blackwing 24 pays tribute to Pulitzer Prize winning author John Steinbeck. Designed under the guidance of his son, accomplished author Thomas Steinbeck, Blackwing has attempted to create what would have been John Steinbeck’s ideal pencil. Thom was adamant that his father would want it to be black, from barrel to eraser. It would also need to sharpen to a firm point without sacrificing much, if any, darkness. The Blackwing 24 is just that – an all-black pencil with a brand new graphite formulation perfect for extended writing.
The Blackwing 24 features a new extra-firm graphite great for extended writing. You won’t find this graphite in any of our other Blackwing models. It’s slightly firmer than the graphite found in the Blackwing 602, without sacrificing much in the way of darkness. It also features a distraction-free black barrel, black imprint, black ferrule and black eraser.
In an effort to avoid distraction, John Steinbeck chose pencils that were dark in color and, therefore, less eye-catching. Thom went on to describe the ideal graphite as “the hardest point you can find that still maintains some darkness.” “My father’s pencils had a firm, sharp point,” noted Thom.
John Steinbeck saw sharpening as another unnecessary, and unacceptable distraction. So every day, before putting graphite to paper, he would sharpen 24 pencils and place them point up in the first of two identical wood boxes. Each pencil lasted just long enough to dull its point – usually four or five lines – before being placed in the second box, point down. After all 24 pencils had progressed from one box to the other, John would resharpen each pencil, and begin the process anew. According to Thom, some days he would use over 100 pencils. But every day started with 24 pencils and the sound of the pencil sharpener.
Finally, Blackwing had their Volume number and the design. All that was left was to put them together. The result is the Blackwing 24.