The Viking Blog

Five museums that celebrate stationery

Five museums that celebrate stationery

Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum

What is presumably the world’s only sharpener museum is found in a shed in Ohio. The late Paul A. Johnson’s 3,400-strong collection is on display, ensuring there’s a sharpener in pretty much every design you can imagine. And let’s not forget the placard of Johnson’s mantra: “Keep Sharp…Be Sharp…Act Sharp…Stay Sharp…Look Sharp.”

The Cumberland Pencil Museum

Located in England’s Lake District, this museum is a Derwent pencil factory first opened in 1832. On a tour, you’ll find videos about the pencil-making process, lots of colouring-in activities for the kids, art workshops and demonstrations, and the biggest colouring pencil in the world (7.91 metres).

Crane Museum of Papermaking

The Crane & Co museum in Massachusetts is located in the paper company’s 1844 Old Stone Mill. With scale models showing what it would have looked like when in use, it gives a fascinating insight into paper-making processes from the 1770 to today. You’ll even learn about the paper made for use as US currency.

Japan Stationery Museum

In Tokyo, this museum showcases ancient artefacts used to write and draw. There’s everything from Egyptian papyrus to Chinese horse-hair brushes, as well as ornate letter openers and yatate – personal writing sets comprising of a portable ink pot and pen holder, which look much like smoking pipes.

Smythson Stationery Museum

Luxury stationery brand Smythson has a small exhibit at the back of its London New Bond Street store, which features famous items including Katharine Hepburn’s engraved address book, John F Kennedy’s condolence book, and official stationery of the royal family.

Have you visited any of these museums, or another exhibit that celebrates stationery? Share your story in the comments below!


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