Today is National Pencil Day.
This wonderful day is observed each year on 30 March because, apparently, Hymen Lipman registered the first patent for attaching a rubber – or eraser to our American friends – to the end of a pencil on this day in 1858.
The holiday is a US tradition, but we thought we would use it this year as an excuse to tell you about the pencils we found while decanting our Galleries.
Last year, our African Worlds Gallery closed as we started the exciting process of turning the space into our new World Gallery. To do this, we needed to decant the Gallery and move all the objects back into storage.
As we took down our shrines, we realised that there were a few more objects inside them than had been there originally.
It seems that visitors had been popping pencils and other items through the small holes at the bottom of the cases.
While we decanted the cases, our team took an inventory of the number of extra items that had been ‘added’ to the shrine. We present this here.
Haitian Vodou shrine:
Brazilian Candomble shrine:
1 crayon wrapper
And the winner by a mile…
Benin Mammi Wata shrine:
1 plastic lolly stick
As you can see, that is a total number of 73 pencils added to our shrines.
Our team enjoyed these 'offerings' and made sure they were recycled and put to good use.