Eberhard Faber commonly named its erasers after its pencils. At the time, Eberhard Faber already had a trademark on a pencil called the "Pearl" that was manufactured exclusively for F. W. Woolworth Company. Since the eraser was pink in color and the company already had rights to the "Pearl" name, Eberhard Faber decided to call it the "Pink Pearl" eraser. In 1848, Eberhard Faber, great grandson of Casper Faber, who first produced and marketed lead pencils in 1761 in Nuremberg, Bavaria, came to America to establish an import business that included Faber pencils. In 1861, he started his own pencil factory in New York City.
Upon Eberhard Faber"s death in 1879, the business was passed down to his 20-year-old son, John, who demonstrated his business savvy by promptly having his name legally changed to Eberhard Faber II. Eberhard II headed the company until his death in 1946. His nephew, Eberhard III, would have become the next president, had he not died a year earlier trying to save the life of his son, Eberhard Faber IV, being pulled out to sea by an undertow (Eberhard IV was saved by his uncle, Duncan Taylor). Instead, Eberhard III's widow, Julia Faber became the major owner of the firm, and ten years later, the company moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 1971, Eberhard Faber IV became President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
In 1987, Faber-Castell Corporation purchased Eberhard Faber, and the following year the company's facilities were moved to Lewisburg, Tennessee. In 1994, Newell Co. bought Faber-Castell and merged with Sanford Corporation.
Eberhard Faber founded the United States' first pencil factory in New York City in 1861 on the present site of the United Nations' building. After being destroyed by a fire in 1872, the pencil plant was relocated to Brooklyn's Greenpoint section.
The pumice, a volcanic ash from Italy, helps the rubber erase and gives it more erasing power. The unique formulation of rubber and factice gives the Pink Pearl its distinctive aroma and also makes it softer than any other eraser in the world.
Eberhard Faber was the first company to put erasers on pencils. The idea caught on in the United States immediately, but it has never caught on in Europe. Europeans claim they shun erasers because they encourage schoolchildren to be careless. Students (and just about everyone else in Europe) use separate erasers.
A poor or abrasive eraser actually loosens and removes the paper fibers. A well-formulated eraser like the Pink Pearl erases by cleaning the paper surface.
In 1996, Eberhard Faber sold more than 4.7 million Pink Pearl Erasers. Laid end to end, that's enough erasers to reach from Washington, D.C., to Philadelpha.
Sanford, the company that owns Eberhard Faber, is the world's largest manufacturer of pencils.