Penciled into History, Women at Work in Greenpoint (1915)

Women at work in the Eberhard Faber factory circa 1915. Photo via The Brooklyn Historical Society


In early 20th century Brooklyn a major employer, particularly of women, was the Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This circa-1915 view from the Brooklyn Historical Society shows women busy at work in the factory (and what might to be a female supervisor dressed in black and standing in the background).

The company was founded by Eberhard Faber in 1861 and had a factory in Manhattan until a fire caused the company to establish a manufacturing presence in Brooklyn in 1872. Faber operated in Greenpoint until 1956, turning out pencils and other stationary items.

The company was sold to A. W. Faber-Castell in the 1980s. Eight buildings from the plant, dating from the 1860s to the 1920s, are now included in the Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory Historic District. The district is located on Greenpoint and Kent avenues between West and Franklin streets.

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