The wooden pencil is so common that we hardly notice it. Made from two simple timber sections encasing a graphite and clay core. it is an essential item in any school, office or home. In the 1800‘s it provided a cheap writing implement that did much to improve the general levels of literacy. It is an urban myth that whilst NASA spent significant funds developing a pen that would write in zero gravity the Russians used a pencil. Both in fact used pencils in various forms but graphite dust can be a problem in this sensitive environment.