Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories is a wonderful photo essay that reveals the surprisingly complex process that goes into producing an instrument that all of us use – the every day pencil

The images are provides by photographer Christopher Payne who has visited the General Pencil Company in Jersey City dozens of times. His surprisingly evocative photos not only “record every phase of the manufacturing process” they “capture the many different worlds hidden inside the complex’s plain brick exterior.” Accompanying Mr. Payne’s photos is a narrative by The New York Times Magazine’s Sam Anderson who explains the multifaceted and complicated operation that Mr. Payne’s so vividly brings to life.

(Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies