STAEDTLER® and the coloured pencil

Who invented the coloured pencil?

As in the case of graphite pencils, there is no exact information available on the invention of the coloured pencil. Though, once again, the name Staedtler is to be found in corresponding historical documents. In the year 1834, one year before the foundation of the company, Johann Sebastian Staedtler had already invented a coloured oil pastel pencil that could be sharpened to a point just like a pencil, making it one of the first coloured pencils ever.

STAEDTLER®'s colored oil pastel pencil

What was so special about this coloured oil pastel pencil?

It was Johann Sebastian Staedtler's intention to revolutionise the already existing pastel pencil.
The product of his numerous attempts spoke for itself. He mixed coloured pigments with binding agents and then placed a protective wooden casing around the coloured lead.

The quality of this coloured lead by far exceeded others of that day and age: The performance was much more intensive and durable than was the case with contemporary pastel pencils which were powdery and did not adhere well to paper. The wooden casing protected the hand from getting dirty thereby making it clean to use. 

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A quality highly valued by competitors

Historic account book

Old account books show that, for more than 20 years, the company J.S. Staedtler supplied competitors with these coloured leads because no other company mastered the manufacturing process like J.S. Staedtler did.

STAEDTLER® revolutionises coloured pencils once again with A·B·S

A·B·S: uninterrupted creativity!
Especially with children, coloured pencils have to be able to stand up to a lot of punishment: The unique Anti-Break-System (for short A•B•S) increases their service life.



You know the problem! Once children start colouring, it’s not long before the soft coloured pencil leads break –  either when being sharpened, as a result of the heavy pressure applied or simply because they keep getting dropped on the floor.

STAEDTLER set itself the challenge to find a solution to this problem and, in 2005, launched coloured pencils with an Anti-Break-System (A•B•S) onto the market.

Thanks to innovative, white protective coating that surrounds the colour-intensive high-quality lead core like a second skin, the break resistance as well as the stability of the coloured leads are increased.

The principle of this protective coating follows a clever example from nature: just like a robust bamboo cane, the white protective coating protects the lead core where it most effective – from the outside – and additionally strengthens the bond between the lead and wood in the pencil.

The advantages of the STAEDTLER A•B•S system are evident: Less sharpening is required and the service life of the pencils is considerably longer.