Beautiful hand-built mechanical pencils and pens
by Nicholas Hemingway
A Tradition of the Hemingway Family Going Back Centuries…
Nicholas Hemingway grew up in Chelsea in London. He studied architecture at university but always wanted to be a product designer. Instead of solely studying product design it seemed to him architecture be the fuller course of design to study and would be a more transferable path to follow.
Both Nicholas Hemingway’s Grandfather’s Philip Hemingway and Frank Warnford Harold were engineers. Philip Hemingway was also a draftsman in his earlier career and much later retired to become an Horologist (Clock-maker).
Pencils like this one were not around when he was a draftsman, but neither were pencils seen as disposable, valueless tools. The disposable culture we live in today encourages a valueless attitude to cheap material things. It is these cheap products that really cause a lot of the world’s pollution. Because of their large scale production they cost next to nothing. This not only makes them attractive to buy to the masses, but also produces a disposable and valueless mindset towards them and so many are thrown away without consideration for their real value and cost to the environment.
Nicholas has a box of drafting tools from his great great grandfather William Hemingway in which lies an almost fully sharpened down pencil which is well over 120 years old. How often nowadays do you see the design life of a pencil lasting over a year? Of course they can last many years, but the point is, do we see a value in the pencil any more?
William Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway and the Hemingway legacy…
The forefathers of the Hemingway family were Viking settlers who came to Scotland in the Middle Ages. Many places were named by these Norsemen, and the Hemingway surname was taken on from one of these place names, when someone lived in the Orkneys, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.
Nicholas Hemingway’s family can be directly traced back to circa 1400AD. His American side of the family emigrated to the US from Sheffield in 1860 and became the famous literary branch of the family that led to the birth of Ernest Hemingway. The Yorkshire residing part of the family grew into a family of engineers of which William Hemingway (Nicholas’s great great great grandfather) had a huge part to play in the engineering world at the time having worked with famous civil engineer George Stephenson and been the inventor of the caterpillar track system on tanks that went on to be developed during wartime from which William Hemingway gained very little to no acclaim for his invention that became part of a wartime development tank program and his inventor rights given up for the war efforts and “for the good of the country”.
All of Nicholas Hemingway’s Mechanical Pencils are handmade by himself on his Grandfather’s 1970’s Myford ML10 lathe. His Grandfather was not Ernest Hemingway who is his second cousin, but in fact Phillip Hemingway. It is Phillip Hemingway who these pencils are built in honour of. We hope you enjoy these timeless Hemingway pieces of design, hand built in true Hemingway style. Please follow us on social media to keep up to date with our endeavors