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Clay preparation

The clay lumps were dissolved in a water basin. This process was accelerated by a so-called turbo-mixer. While quartz sand and other substances settled to the bottom of the basin, the clay remained suspended in the water. Then this ’clay milk‘ was sucked off from the top and conveyed into the high speed mixer for further processing, while the foreign particles were removed from the bottom of the basin.

Raw material grinding

At this stage, the raw materials were crushed in the prepress tank. Lateral notches on the stamping head prevented air inclusions which would have resulted in lead breakage.

Cutting and sorting the leads

Here the leads were removed from the extrusion moulds. Then they were inspected, selected, numbered and wrapped in paper. Samples from each charge were taken for further quality controls to be conducted in the laboratory. Subsequently, the latter released the products for further processing.

The historic counting house

At a time when telephones and mechanical typewriters were state of the art, many factory clerks were required for managing the tremendous amount of correspondence within the company. From materials procurement via production to worldwide distribution – everything had to be organised and handled in writing, such as orders, calculations and invoices. For that reason, Faber-Castell counting houses looked more like today’s open-space offices.

The historic laboratory

Industrial lead manufacturing required strict quality controls during practically all steps of the production process as well as permanent monitoring of the finished products. These checks were performed in a chemico-physical laboratory equipped with the then latest technology. This ensured the immediate detection and stoppage of flawed production processes. Ultimately, product improvements were also attributed to the findings obtained by laboratory specialists. Specimens of the huge range of graphite and colour leads were filed and stored.