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Their version was a flat, oval, more compact type of pencil.
When sufficient stores of graphite had been accumulated, the mines were flooded to prevent theft until more was required.
To use the pencil, the casing must be carved or peeled off to expose the working end of the core as a sharp point.
Mechanical pencils have more elaborate casings which are not permanently bonded to the core.
Henry Bessemer's first successful invention (1838) was a method of compressing graphite powder into solid graphite thus allowing the waste from sawing to be reused.
American colonists imported pencils from Europe until after the American Revolution.
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The usefulness of graphite for pencils was discovered as well, but graphite for pencils had to be smuggled.