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"The Perfect Pencil Pointer," patented on April 29, 1890, was probably designed for schoolrooms or offices. It resembles very little the pencil sharpeners in the schoolrooms, offices, and libraries that we are familiar with today. We know pencils were common in the 19th century because it has been recorded that Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) made his living selling pencils in Concord, Massachusetts for a time. The instructions on the underside of the invention are very precise and include the caution, "Don't bear on hard. Please remember this. Take hold of the carriage so as to let the pencil project between first and middle finger as shown..."
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