The Faber-Castell family can look back on an eventful history spanning more than 250 years with thanks to the entrepreneurial founder and talented carpenter, Kaspar Faber whom began producing pencils in 1761 in a small workshop in Stein, Germany. Determined to improve the pure graphite pencil (which would easily break and crumble) by using ground graphite mixed with sulphur, antimony and binding resins, Kaspar Faber improved the durability of pure graphite pencil, but alas his business A. W. Faber didn't grow much beyond local recognition. During 1840, the 4th generation Faber, Lothar von Faber set new pencil standards including lengths, diameters and grades of lead hardness were formalised, that are still used today. In 1849, A.W. Faber becomes the first German pencil manufacturer with oversea branches opening in New York, London and Paris. In 1861 Faber were competitively driving the pencil production industry forward with their investment in machinery; making work easier and more precise resulting in a larger amount of higher quality products; obtaining world recognition. It wasn't until 1898 with the marriage of Baroness Ottilie von Faber to Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen that the company takes on the name Faber-Castell. The company continued to flourish with developing new and on existing products and establishing international branches and sales divisions, making Faber-Castell the world's leading manufacturer of black lead and coloured wood cased pencils.