In Leonard Read’s famous essay “I, pencil,” the author, writing in the pencil’s voice, asserts “Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me.” From the wood, to the eraser tip (“inelegantly referred to in the trade as ‘the plug’”), to the graphite core, pencil-making is a global technical and manufacturing challenge. In few words, “it’s complicated.”
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