Slate Pencils

Location: Castleton
Tag(s): Industry
Historical Category: Local History
Video Date: 7/29/22

We continue our tour of Vermont's Slate industry with another stop in Castleton to learn a bit about slate pencils. You might have once had a slate chalkboard in your classroom, but in the 19th century, instead of using chalk, people used pencils made of slate to write.

A man named John Cain of Rutland realized he could use slate as a writing tool, and began selling hand-carved pencils from his home. His products were popular, and he went on to begin manufacturing the pencils in his own factory in Castleton in 1843.


This Place in History is produced in partnership by Local 22 & Local 44 ( and the Vermont Historical Society.

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