The modern Cretacolor pencil by Brevillier

The history of the graphite pencils which are made today in the factory in Hirm stretches back as far as 1790, the year in which the successful architect and entrepreneur Joseph Hardtmuth invented the very first graphite pencil in Vienna. As a result, a firm was founded and a manufacturing site in Vienna was acquired, which was eventually relocated in Hirm in the nineteen seventies. The original firm founded by Hardtmuth is run today by a company in the Czech Republic. The production plant in Hirm was acquired in 1996 by Hans Wolfgang Hromatka, an Austrian entrepreneur, art lover and passionate collector of pencils, who has since transformed the company from a state of bankruptcy to the thriving manufacturer of artists’ materials that it is today.

Under his leadership, new products for modern artists were produced such as the Monolith woodless pencil and the unique colored charcoal ArtChunky. Hromatka’s goal has been to combine the long tradition of pencil manufacturing in Hirm with the innovation of Brevillier to produce the finest artists’ materials available.

One of the important steps in the development of the modern Brevillier’s Cretacolor pencil was made in 1863 when Carl Brevillier founded the Zeus Pencil Factory in Vienna. The money for this project originated from the industrial production of screws for railways. But Brevillier had found his true calling in art. His goal was to create a high-quality writing and drawing implement that everybody could afford. Finally it was possible for many people to enjoy and practice art who had previously not been able to afford art materials.

In 2007, Hans Wolfgang Hromatka acquired this company merging it with the Cretacolor factory in Hirm. And thus Brevillier Urban & Sachs was born.

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