The Machine In the Wetland.

We pencil aficionados are usually at least moderately aware that Henry David Thoreau contributed to American pencil manufacturing in significant ways and that this is somewhat funny, considering how much he often loathed material culture as being too much trouble. But we might not all know about the details. For instance, did you know that Thoreau actually invented a machine to ground graphite finer than other pencil manufacturers? Now you do!

2 Replies to “The Machine In the Wetland.”

  1. Hey JG – speaking of HDT, I’ve had on my book hunt list (forever, it seems) trying to find a copy of his journals…the full journals. I seem to remember you mentioning you had a set. Was (is) it the Dover two-volume edition or? Never seen any version, so just wondering if what you had was readable.

    1. Oh, yes! It’s a facsimile of the 14 volume edition, with a few pages on each very very large page. I think it might be out of print though? Hopefully not. The New York Times Review of Books put out a large selection this fall, which they tout as the largest single-volume collection. The complete Dover is definitely superior, though, if a little hard to take to a cafe’! :)

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