Quiz: How much do you really know about the pencil?


You’ve probably used and discarded hundreds of pencils in your life so far. Put your knowledge to the test — and learn some cocktail party trivia in the process.


That’s the end of the quiz, but there is much more to know and love about the pencil. Watch “Why the Pencil Is Perfect,” featuring Caroline Weaver, pencil historian and owner of the NYC shop CW Pencil Enterprise. (For even more information, you can read her book The Pencil Perfect: The Untold Story of a Cultural Icon.)

And be sure to check out other episodes of TED’s original 8-part video series “Big Thing, Small Idea” to learn about the everyday objects that have transformed our experience — from how the button changed fashion to how the hyperlink laid the groundwork for our modern connected world.


Kate Torgovnick May is a writer at TED.com. She can also solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than two minutes. Read more about her work at KateTorgovnickMay.com. This piece was adapted for TED-Ed from this Ideas article.