In 1822, Sampson Mordan and John Isaac Hawkins from England received a patent on a pencil to refill with a lead. In the following 60 years more than 160 improvement patents were applied for.
The direct predecessor model of today's most widely used model with gripper tongs was an invention of the American Charles Rood Keeran. With the brand Eversharp he got the patent for the mechanical pencil in 1915, which he had already requested in 1913. Today the german pen maker Kaweco also produces besides the fountain pens and ballpoint pens, the Kaweco Sketch Up series in very well made and robust metal barrels.