Mechanical pencils are something that go extremely under-appreciated. I personally hate writing in pen, and cannot imagine if we all still stood up and went to the back of the classroom for the sharpener each time we needed a new pencil tip. And yes, there are portable sharpeners, but that would leave us over the garbage can, with so much waste to deal with, and we’re lucky if it doesn’t explode inside our bags. Mechanical pencils solved many of these problems in one simple, sleek device. Whenever you need a fresh tip, you can have one at the click of the eraser. The design to include more lead within the device itself makes it useful long past the length of the pencil itself. While pencils, and advancing sharpeners (think: electric) seemed like something that didn’t need to be replaced, mechanical pencils came and made us realize that they did. And that is the sign of a smart, successful design.