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The Derwent Cumberland Pencil Company is a manufacturer of pencils and other stationery. The business began in 1832 in Cumbria. The company was bought by Acco UK (known then as Rexel), and became a brand of their product range.
Derwent colour pencils have traditionally been sold in tins of 12, 24, 36 and 72 different colours. They are also available in a range of wooden presentation boxes or sets of six which are intended to be trial packs.
Derwent's oldest line of colour pencils, Artist, were expanded from a range of 24 to 72 in 1939 and from 72 colours to 120 in 1996. Studio and Watercolour pencils are still available in the 72 original colours. Pastel pencils were introduced in 1994 and come in 90 colours. Derwent also now manufactures ordinary stick pastels.
Derwent Signature was a range of lightfast pencils, available in 60 colours (Signature Watercolour pencils came in 40 colours) but it was discontinued after a few years. New 72 colour ranges include Derwent Coloursoft and Derwent Inktense pencils. Derwent also produces a range of graphite pencils such as Graphitone and Graphitint (a water-soluble colour pigment and graphite mix) and charcoal pencils like Tinted Charcoal as well as special-purpose items such as Aquatone, a range of 24 sticks of pure watersoluble colour. Derwent also created a waterbrush, this brush houses water in the barrel of the pen which is supplied to the fibre brush via a valve, giving a constant flow of water when the brush meets paper.
The Cumberland Pencil Museum is the focus of Derwent, and is located in Keswick, Cumbria. A tour is provided by the museum, which shows the history of pencil making and the creation of Derwent pencils.
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