The Dixon Ticonderoga is an American icon and (it seems) one of the most beloved pencils of all time. It took some time for me to get to it, though, because for a person who didn’t grow up with it, the name was too strange and the colors on it somehow looked Brazilian, not American. So, as a newcomer to the Ticonderoga, I will speedily refer you to other, more authoritative resources, such as the excellent Pencil Revolution (starting from here – the comments too) and Brand Name Pencils (for the dating of various models). There just is a lot more love over there, and as we all know, Love is important when we talk about pencils. I will just note that the top three are made in the U.S.A., whereas the Amos Dixon was made in China, and the last Tic probably in Mexico. I haven’t tried the most recent batch of Ticonderogas.
The thing about American-made pencils in their prime is that they are such great workhorses. When you have something like the Ticonderoga in your hands, Japanese pencils such as the Hi-Uni start to seem frivolous, a bit boutique-y perhaps. Pencils like these were born not only to be written but to be rolled and chewed and lived with.
The packaging (for the 1388-2 HB Soft pencil, in the middle) is very American too. Four dozen! The marketing probably was always quite patriotic for the Ticonderogas, but this particular version makes me wonder whether they were making a last-minute effort to appeal to the public to buy American-made pencils just before production moved to Mexico.