The pencil that went into orbit

By Wang Ying ( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-06-12 10:21:53

The pencil that went into orbit

This photo traces the history of the Chunghwa pencil, from its humble beginnings in the 1930s. Photo provided to Shanghai Star

The Chunghwa has not only launched the penmanship of many a Chinese child, it has also itself been sent into space with China's astronauts. Wang Ying sketches its proud history.

The pencil that went into orbit 

It is the pencil used by generations of Chinese as they learn to write their names for the first time, and this is also the pencil that has appeared on the tables of various important civil conventions.

The proudest moment was in 2008, when it was used in space by astronauts aboard Shenzhou 7, China's third manned space flight.

Chunghwa literally means Chinese, but it is also a proud and patriotic notion for the pencil company's founder.

Chunghwa's history can be traced back to 1935, when it was established in Shanghai by a Chinese who had studied in Japan before deciding to devote his life to helping restore the prosperity of his country.

The company was called China Standard Home Product Pencil Co Ltd, and renamed China No 1 Pencil Factory after 1949.

In March 1954, the first Chunghwa 101 drawing pencil was officially launched, bringing to an end the dearth of homemade drawing pencils in China.

China First Pencil began exporting its Greatwall brand pencils as well as OEM pencils abroad in 1958. Up to 113 million pencils were exported in 1965, accounting for one-third of the company's total output.

Weathering ups and downs over 75 years, thecompany now has a brand new name, China First Pencil Co Ltd, the nation's largest pencil maker, accounting for 30 percent of domestic sales, thanks to its state-of-the-art technology, high quality and wide variety of products.

The pencil that went into orbit

The pencil that went into orbit

Chinese oil paintings on display in Beijing 

Beijing in the 1980s

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