No 40
Words: ~ 1000 Conclusio Favourites Thomas Schürmann en

Favourite pieces I

Faber-Castell T.K. 9600 propelling action pencil

The TK 9600 at the ruler - The picture shows the hand position with which one would work with the pen. The drawing shows the water tower of BW Ottbergen and was made for the Eisenbahnkurier Spezial.

The TK 9600 at the ruler

The picture shows the hand position with which one would work with the pen. The drawing shows the water tower of BW Ottbergen and was made for the Eisenbahnkurier Spezial.
Photo: Thomas Schürmann, Nikon D800E, Sigma Art 50mm/1:1,4 DG, 8 October 2021

The T.K. 9600 propelling action pencil was a unique pencil for drawing blueprintable lines of consistent width with graphite flat leads.

TK 9600 with metal and white end cap - My two TK 9600 flat lead pens. Each with metal and white end cap.

TK 9600 with metal and white end cap

My two TK 9600 flat lead pens. Each with metal and white end cap.
Photo: Thomas Schürmann, , 7. Oktober 2021

Technical data

Pen and flat graphite leads

It has been on my heart for a long time to introduce you to my favourite items. I use many of them all the time in my everyday life, even though some of them are more than 50 or more years old. Today I would like to introduce you to a rare pencil from Faber-Castell that hardly anyone knows about. 

It is the Faber-Castell TK 9600 pen.

Technical data pen

Plastic pencil holder with hexagonal cross-section, conical metal tip with flat lead holder and white or metallic end cap. The lettering in relief lengthwise reads: A.W.Faber Castell TK 9600 Germany. A.W.Faber is preceded by the A.W.Faver logo, a balanced pendulum scale with weighing pans. Another separator is a stylised coat of arms with a chessboard-like pattern. At the top the degree of hardness is printed in white letters.

Farbe: Turquoise green (It is almost RAL 6016, the exact shade is a Faber-Castell own mixture. The colour is always called Castell Green and has changed over the years).
Length: 155mm
Diameter: 7mm/8mm
Weight: 14 g

Technical data leads 9045

The leads are made of pressed graphite and additives. They were delivered in a transparent plastic box, which was closed with a white or beige cap. Due to the age of the pencils, I cannot determine exactly whether the caps were once white and have now yellowed). The refill packaging is gold coloured with the article number 9045 and the degree of hardness. Next to it on the left side of the packaging is the Faber-Castell logo valid at that time and on the right side the word Germany rotated by 90 degrees to the longitudinal axis, also in gold-coloured print.

Packaging dimensions: L 74,5 mm x B 11,5 mm x H 7,5 mm
Lead refill dimensions: L 60 mm x B 2,5 mm x H 0,5 mm

I have leads in the hardness grades F, HB, H, 2H and 3H. There have been matching flat leads for the pencil in 16 degrees of hardness: 4B-10H. (Source: Faber-Castell archive)

 

Flat refills Faber-Castell 9045 - In total, there were 16 different degrees of hardness from 4B to 10H.

Flat refills Faber-Castell 9045

In total, there were 16 different degrees of hardness from 4B to 10H.

 Faber-Castell 9045 - The small plastic boxes Faber-Castell 9045 contained 30 flat refills.

Faber-Castell 9045

The small plastic boxes Faber-Castell 9045 contained 30 flat refills.

Flachmine 0,5 mm x 2,5 mm x 60 mm - Labelling with the text: Härtegrad HB - Castell 9045 - HB - GERMANY

Flachmine 0,5 mm x 2,5 mm x 60 mm

Labelling with the text: Härtegrad HB - Castell 9045 - HB - GERMANY

The flat refill holder -  With the TK 9600, the refills are pushed forward by turning the tip.

The flat refill holder

With the TK 9600, the refills are pushed forward by turning the tip.

History

Miles-long lines without settling

An enquiry at the Faber-Castell archive revealed that the pens were manufactured from 1957 to 1974. This was the first and last entry in the product catalogue. The application for the TK-lead flat lead was listed as "linear drawing". The lead had the advantage that it did not need to be sharpened. The leads were available in 16 degrees of hardness from 4B to 10H. (Source: Faber-Castell Archive)

The English-language advertisement from Berrick Bros. Limited in London wrote in the original: 

The Faber-Castell T.K. propelling action pencil with flat leads enables the draughtsman to draw actual miles of fine even thickness lines without stopping to sand or sharpen. Leads supplied in handy container are of high quality Faber-Castell graphite which permits direct blueprinting.

Quelle: Faber-Castell Archiv, Berrick Bros. Limited, London

Dazu zeigt die Anzeige den Stift und den Minenbehälter. Leider ist der Abdruck der Anzeige aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen nicht möglich.

Replacement by the round lead mechanical pencil

My guess is that the mechanical pencil with round leads replaced the flat lead pencil. It is not so easy to keep the pen consistently parallel to the ruler. This is much easier with round lead  mechanical pencils. In addition, mechanical pencils can be used to draw even thinner lines. The range here is from 0.3 mm to 0.7 mm. 

The Faber-Castell T.K. propelling action pencil 9045 with flat leads - In total, there were 16 different degrees of hardness from 4B to 10H.

The Faber-Castell T.K. propelling action pencil 9045 with flat leads

In total, there were 16 different degrees of hardness from 4B to 10H.
Photo: Thomas Schürmann, NIKON D800E, 2021

Since 1761

Faber-Castell

The Faber-Castell company can be traced back to the Bavarian entrepreneur Kaspar Faber, born in Langenzenn on 31 March 1730. He settled near Stein in the vicinity of Nuremberg in 1758 and "founded a small workshop in 1761 in which he produced "Bleyweißstefften"." (Quelle: Wikipedia) It was not until Lothar von Faber, born on 12 June 1817, that the company experienced a significant upswing. His granddaughter Sophie Ottilie von Faber married Alexander Graf zu Catell-Rüdinghausen, which gave rise to the company name A. W. Faber-Castell, or the brand name Faber-Castell, which is still used today.

According to its own information, the A. W. Faber-Castell company today produces more than 2.3 billion wooden pencils annually.

Acknowledgements

My personal and heartfelt thanks go to the Faber-Castell archive, where I was helped quickly, in a very friendly and interested manner. Thank you!

Conclusion

I present the first product from my new series of favourite pieces. It is the Faber-Castell TK 9600 flat lead pencil.

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