A groundbreaking study of the development of mechanical and metal cased pencils in the nineteenth century. Illustrated with over 700 photographs, the book provides examples of the extraordinary variety of propelling pencils that were created between 1800 and 1920. Readers will be struck by the ingenuity of the inventors and creators of this (until now) forgotten form of decorative art. From metal cased pencils that are elegantly practical, to "magic" pencils that are more whimsical than functional, this book follows the progress of the mechanical pencil as it evolves from a usable tool to something more akin to jewelry. This history of mechanical pencils also includes definitions of terms, descriptions of various mechanisms, ornamentation and surface decoration, and the multitude of combinations created by nineteenth century pencil-case makers. Value ranges are also included.