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In the beginning, happy, decorative pencils did not exist. There were boring Yellow No. 2 Pencils.

When Atlas opened in 1940, businesses such as banks, insurance companies, airlines, etc. had their names and sometimes logos printed on pencils. Schools bought plain pencils.

In 1975, two teachers employed by Atlas pointed out that, if properly designed, pencils could be used as educational tools. With that in mind, Atlas initiated the concept of printed pencils with motivational designs for rewards and awards. To promote this idea, ads under the heading "Writing Is Fun" were placed in educational magazines. The bright colors, subject matter, and clever graphics were unlike any advertisement to date. It had a profound effect on sales and the future use of pencils.

In addition to motivational and educational themes, the affordable price of personalized pencils - 3 pencils with the student's name printed on them - allowed teachers to present their students with a personal gift at holiday time and all year through.

Besides personalized pencils, Super Star, I Helped My Teacher Today, Wow-Fantastic!, Honor Roll and Math Whiz Award became standards, as did our sensational Happy Birthday pencil.

We startled the educational sector by printing games on pencils. "Find The" Series, a matching game - words to graphics - had students find Body Parts, Dinosaurs, Foreign Landmarks, Money, Time, Ships & Boats, and more.

Universally enjoyed, too, were the captivating designs that celebrate the holidays. The vibrant color pencils and graphics for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter are today's classics.

Soon followed "Pencils That Say Things". Printed right on pencils were The Pledge of Allegiance, The Preamble to The Constitution, branches of government, states and capitals, multiplication, division and subtraction tables, weights and measures, multilingual words for "Thank You". Every phase of elementary education was covered.

Over the years, our catalog has held a leadership role in supplying teachers and schools with educational and year round gifts. All products are carefully reviewed. We search the marketplace for new items that will help teachers make learning fun.

We are focused on a future that promises to be just as exciting as our past.

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