As I conducted my sophomore research I noted that the thoughts and articles of Leonard Read were inevitably intertwined with the ideas of the capitalist pioneer Mr.
I am a lead pencil—the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write. You may wonder why I should write a genealogy. Well, to begin with, my story is interesting. And, next, I am a mystery—more so than a tree or a sunset or even a flash of lightning.
But, sadly, I am taken for granted by those who use me, as if I were a mere incident and without background. This supercilious attitude relegates me to the level of the commonplace.
This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, as a wise man observed, "We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders. I have a profound lesson to teach.
And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple. Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.
Pick me up and look me over. What do you see? Just as you cannot trace your family tree back very far, so is it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents.
But I would like to suggest enough of them to impress upon you the richness and complexity of my background. My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon.
Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding. Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!
The logs are shipped to a mill in San LeandroCalifornia. Can you imagine the individuals who make flat cars and rails and railroad engines and who construct and install the communication systems incidental thereto? These legions are among my antecedents. Consider the millwork in San Leandro. The cedar logs are cut into small, pencil-length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness.
These are kiln dried and then tinted for the same reason women put rouge on their faces. People prefer that I look pretty, not a pallid white.
The slats are waxed and kiln dried again. How many skills went into the making of the tint and the kilns, into supplying the heat, the light and power, the belts, motors, and all the other things a mill requires?
Sweepers in the mill among my ancestors? Seven brothers and I are mechanically carved from this "wood-clinched" sandwich. My "lead" itself—it contains no lead at all—is complex. The graphite is mined in Ceylon.
Consider these miners and those who make their many tools and the makers of the paper sacks in which the graphite is shipped and those who make the string that ties the sacks and those who put them aboard ships and those who make the ships.
Even the lighthouse keepers along the way assisted in my birth—and the harbor pilots. The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi in which ammonium hydroxide is used in the refining process. Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow —animal fats chemically reacted with sulfuric acid.
After passing through numerous machines, the mixture finally appears as endless extrusions—as from a sausage grinder—cut to size, dried, and baked for several hours at 1, degrees Fahrenheit.
To increase their strength and smoothness the leads are then treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexicoparaffin waxand hydrogenated natural fats.I, Pencil has ratings and 66 reviews.
Kevin said: I first read this in college, It was a required reading in a Human Sociology class, or something to /5. Oct 23, · I, Pencil Summary and Analysis Summary: I believe that the main idea of the story I, Pencil is that the author Leonard E. Read wanted to show us that it takes so much to build one little item.
I, Pencil Summary: This was an article written from the aspect of a wooden pencil. The pencil first starts out talking about how no one knows how to make him/her. I, Pencil Oregon, graphite mined from Sri Lanka, and a rubber like product for the eraser from Indonesia to name a few, illustrates specialization.
Each area has comparative advantage for . The Lesson of “I, Pencil” An Essay on Economic Freedom for the AgesAs a young college student studying economics in the ’s I was exposed to the writings and. “I, Pencil” - A Lesson in Free Market Economics “I, Pencil,” a famous essay written by Leonard E.
Read in , can be found on the Foundation.