I have no idea when the Pencil Topper was actually invented, but it’s close relative the eraser (or rubber to us Brits) on the end of the pencil, is credited as being invented by a man named Hyman Lipman, the patent for the idea dating back to 1858! Â If only he’d had the idea of making a comical strawberry with arms and legs he might have made a fortune!
Chances are if you can think of it, a Pencil Topper has been made of it. Â Whether it be the aforementioned anthropomorphised piece of fruit, the latest hit cartoon character or just a simple smiley face, the range of Pencil Toppers that are available is simply stunning, and is one of those items that kids just love collecting.
Of course, whilst most Pencil Toppers are just to make a pencil look a little more fun, some of them do serve a purpose. Â Not all pencils are made with a rubber on the end, so being able to add one to the end of your pencil can be useful. Â The best examples of these are those strange pointy angled ones which you sometimes saw the teachers at school using. Â Some of them are less than useful as erasers though. Â Many’s the time I’ve tried to rub out a mistake with one of those soft ones that ends up making the mistake worse as a smear of graphite is made across your page.
Most Pencil Toppers do nothing more than just sit on the end of your pencil and look pretty, but sometimes you get the odd one that is a bit more interactive. Â I remember having one as a child that was basically a plastic loop with a spring coming out of the side with a plastic woodpecker on the end. Â Push this on the end of a pencil and wiggle it about a bit and it looked like the woodpecker was trying to bore a hole through the end.