A Brief History of the Pencil

One of the unexpected things I learned during our visit to Nuremberg over the holidays is that the city was the home to the first mass-produced graphite lead pencils, beginning in 1662. Before we visited Nuremberg, I hadn’t given the history of pencils much thought.* In fact, the only piece of pencil history that I…

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Road Trip Through History, Nuremberg, Pt. 2, Nazis

One of the most impressive things about Nuremberg is the way the city looks directly at its Nazi past, and encourages visitors to do the same. Nowhere is that more evident than in two major museums: the Documentation Center-Nazi Party Rally Grounds and the Nuremberg Trial Memorial. The Documentation Center, generally called the Doku-Centrum by…

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Road Trip Through History: Nuremberg*, Pt 1. The Castle

One thing you can count on if you travel to a city that important during the medieval period is that it will have a castle: a big hunk of masonry on a hill overlooking the city.** The condition will vary, depending largely on how badly the city fared in World War II.*** You can also…

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