1856 - Graphite from Siberia
Lothar Faber secured a decisive market advantage when he acquired the sole mineral rights to a graphite mine in Siberia in 1856. A French gold prospector had discovered the deposit and offered a partnership to A.W. Faber, by now a well-known company. The lumps of graphite had to be transported by reindeer over inhospitable terrain from the Sayan mountains, some 200 miles west of Irkutsk, then by boat down the river Amur to the east coast and from there along the western Pacific and across the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic to Hamburg. It was a worthwhile undertaking even so, and the “Siberian pencils”, encased in fine wood from Florida, were sold all over the world.