Faber-Castell logo 1906
Faber-Castell logo 1906
Original name: "A.W. Faber" (1761)

Name: "Faber-Castell" (1900)

Category: Home - Office - School

Subcategory: Stationery

Founder: Kaspar Faber

Founded: 1761 - Stein, Bavaria, Germany

Features: Pencil-makers were first recorded in the imperial city of Nuremberg around the year 1660. Numerous craftsmen also set up shop in the surrounding villages, but especially in Stein, just within the Marquisate of Ansbach. Here artisans were not subject to the same strict controls as in Nuremberg, so they had a competitive advantage. One of them was the cabinet-maker Kaspar Faber. At first he worked for local traders, but in his spare time he produced pencils on his own account. Soon he became so successful that he was able to set up his own business. In 1761 he opened a small workshop. Pencils made of pure graphite easily crumbled and broke, thus in 1771 Faber undertook the first attempts to improve pencils by using ground graphite, which he mixed with sulfur, antimony, and binding resins. The technique of gluing pencils into wooden sticks was already well known in Nuremberg at that time, but Kaspar Faber did not use it. From these humble beginnings, Faber-Castell has became one of the world's largest and oldest manufacturers of pens, pencils, other office supplies (staplers, slide rules, erasers, rulers, etc.) and art supplies, as well as high-end writing instruments and luxury leather goods.

Interesting facts: During his lifetime (1730-1784), Kaspar Faber's pencil production business was still on a small scale. After his death, his son Anton Wilhelm (1758-1819) took over the business, which was already doing well. He acquired a plot of land on the edge of Stein, with a workshop that within a few years he had built up into a flourishing manufactory. At the age of 51 Anton Wilhelm handed over to his only son Georg Leonhard (1788-1839) what was already documented as a pencil factory and the company that still bears his initials. Georg Leonhard realized that foreign experience was decisive for the future of his company, and so he sent his son Lothar (1817-1896) abroad. And it was in the progressive cities of London and Paris that the eldest son Lothar developed the ideas that within a few years were to raise the factory in Stein to the ranks of an international company. Lothar Faber secured a decisive market advantage when he acquired the sole mineral rights to a graphite mine in Siberia in 1856. In 1861, the company celebrated its hundredth anniversary. By then it had 250 employees and had cornered a significant share of the market. In the same year, the first pencil factory opens in New York, headed by Lothar Faber's brother Eberhard (1822-1879). Baron Lothar von Faber developed an industrial company during the 19th century with trade relations all over the world. In 1870 the name A.W. Faber was officially entered in the US Register of Companies; the company was registered in Russia that same year, and registration followed in Great Britain, Italy, France, and Spain. Lothar von Faber's only child Wilhelm (1851-1893) was the designated heir: he joined the company in 1873, but died in 1893, at the early age of 42. After Lothar's death in 1896, his widow Ottilie ran the company until the turn of the century, assisted by some faithful employees. Wilhelm von Faber's eldest daughter and subsequent heir Baroness Ottilie von Faber (1877–1944) was married in 1898 to Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (1866-1928). Two years later he joined the board of management which he headed after the death of Lothar's widow in 1903. Count Alexander created trademarks with his noble descent, his name "Castell" and the image of the knights' tournament that have been distinctive down to the present day. The enterprise has remained in the Faber family for generations.

Property: Faber-Castell

Official website: http://www.faber-castell.com

Kaspar Faber and his son Anton Wilhelm Faber
Kaspar Faber (1730-1784), cabinet-maker, carpenter, entrepreneur, founder of Faber-Castell, and his son Anton Wilhelm Faber (1758-1819), who took over the business

Faber-Castell factory 1761
Faber company, pencil factory estabilished at Stein, Bavaria, Germany, 1761
(Asher & Adams' New Columbian Rail Road Atlas and Pictorial Album of American Industry, 1875)

Faber-Castell advertising 1847
Faber company, ads on American newspapers offer imported Faber's pencils (1847. Left: The national whig., Washington, D.C., May 17 - Right: Vermont watchman and State journal, Montpelier, Vt., July 29)

Faber-Castell advertising 1859
Faber company, first opening in USA. Eberhard Faber moved to the United States in 1848 and in 1849, opened a stationery store at No. 133 William Street, NYC. (advertisement from Wilmington journal, Wilmington, N.C., Jan. 7, 1859).

Faber-Castell factory in New York 1861
Faber company, pencil factory estabilished in New York, 1861
(Asher & Adams' New Columbian Rail Road Atlas and Pictorial Album of American Industry, 1875)

Faber Company 1861
Faber company in 1861. The factory opened near New York to produce pencils for the North American market without having to import them was headed by Lothar's youngest brother Eberhard Faber (front row, 2nd from the right).

Faber-Castell advertising 1869
Faber company, American advertisement
(Orleans independent standard, Irasburgh, Vt., Sept. 21, 1869)

Faber company, catalogue (1884)

Products from their branches opened in Stein (1761), New York (1849), London (1851), Paris (1855), Geroldsgrün (1861), Vienna (1872), St. Petersburg (1874), Noisy-le-sec (1881) and Berlin (1884). Faber company expanded internationally and launched new products under Kaspar Faber's ambitious great-grandson, Lothar.

Faber-Castell erasers 1897
Faber company, erasers line (1897)

Faber-Castell pencils 1908
Faber company, packaging of historic pocket pencils "Castell 9000" (1908)

Faber-Castell 250th anniversary
Faber-Castell celebrate their 250th anniversary (1761-2011)