History

History timeline

  • 1500

    Graphite deposits found in Borrowdale.

  • 1558

    Elizabeth I comes to the throne.

  • 1600-1800

    Graphite in lump form used as lubricant, medicine & for armaments.

  • 1793

    Britain goes to war with France.

  • 1795

    Unable to get graphite from England because of the war, Conté in Paris produces artificial graphite. Borrowdale Graphite is no longer unique!

  • 1815

    Napoleon defeated at Battle of Waterloo.

  • 1832

    First record of a factory in
    Keswick making pencils.

  • 1837

    Victoria ascends to the throne.

  • 1850s

    William Monroe in US invented a machine capable of making groves in wooden slats for making pencils.

  • 1851

    Four factories recorded in Keswick.

  • 1875

    Hogarth & Hayes take over the Southey Works in Keswick.

  • 1901

    Victoria dies & Edward VII
    ascends throne.

  • 1912

    Titanic sinks.

    Greenwood family take over the pencil factory as payment for a bad debt.

  • 1914

    First World War starts.

  • 1916

    Name of the company is changed to Cumberland Pencil Co.

  • 1918

    First World War ends.

  • 1920

    Company taken over by British Pens Ltd & start building the current factory.

  • 1926

    Logie Baird gives the first demonstration of television.

  • 1930

    Development of Lakeland.

  • 1936

    Edward VIII abdicates.

  • 1938

    Development of first 24
    Derwent coloured pencils
    Series 19.

  • 1939-1945

    Second World War.

  • 1950

    Derwent Colour Blocks introduced.

  • 1952

    Elizabeth II ascends
    to the throne.

  • 1955-1960

    Derwent Colours reformulated using non-toxic materials.

  • 1961

    Received certificate from
    Royal Institute of Public
    Heath & Hygiene.

  • 1965

    DES memo 2/65 set out limitations on use of heavy metals in pencils supplied to schools.

  • 1966

    England wins the World Cup.

  • 1971

    Decimalisation.

  • 1974

    Pencil & Graphic Instruments
    Safety regulations - safety limit
    set on use of heavy metals
    in all pencils.

  • 1975

    Taken over by Twinlock and renamed Cumberland Graphics.

  • 1977

    Development of Colourland
    pencils in 36 colours.

  • 1980

    Taken over by Rexel. Development of Graphic & Studio ranges.

  • 1981

    Rexel taken over by American Brands. Cumberland Pencil Museum opens. Lady Di and Prince Charles marry.

  • 1983

    Development of Watercolour
    range (42 colours).

  • 1986

    Developed Derwent Sketching
    & Drawing pencils.

  • 1989

    Tim Berners-Lee invents the
    world wide web.

  • 1991

    Achieved BS5750 Quality Standard.

  • 1992

    Acco-Rexel

  • 1993

    Achieved Investor in People accreditation.
    Development of Pastel Pencils.

  • 1994

    Charcoal pencils launched.

  • 1995

    Derwent Artists extended to
    120 colours.

  • 1996

    Achieved ISO14001
    Environmental Standard.

  • 1997

    Received first order of
    UV lacquer.

  • 1998

    Launched pastel, charcoal & graphite blocks.

  • 1999

    First metallic pencils introduced.

  • 2001

    Manufactured the world's longest coloured pencil. Launched Signature lightfast pencil.

  • 2002

    Awarded Queen's Award for Industry for enterprise.

  • 2005

    Developed & launched Graphitint.

  • 2006

    Launched Coloursoft - our softest pencil ever! Introduced Inktense - the first water-soluble ink pencil.

  • 2007

    Launch of the world's first Tinted Charcoal Pencil. Cumberland Pencil Co celebrates 175 years of pencil making.

  • 2008

    Factory moves to Lillyhall, Cumbria.
    Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by
    His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh,
    officially opened the new factory.
    Onyx is launched, a graphite pencil that is
    darker than a 9B.

  • 2009

    New softer Derwent Watercolour pencils are launched. Derwent re-branding is underway.

  • 2010

    New softer Derwent Pastel Pencils are launched. Derwent creates Facebook and Twitter fan pages. Derwent launches lovepencils - The Derwent Blog.

  • 2011

    Unique Inktense Blocks are launched. Derwent launches ‘The Majestic’ wooden box to commemorate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

    Derwent launches iPhone
    and iPad app.

  • 2013

    Derwent launches XL Charcoal
    and XL Graphite ranges.