Derwent have been making high-quality drawing materials and writing instruments in Cumbria since 1916, when they were known as the Cumberland Pencil Company, but the local pencil-making tradition on which they draw dates back much further. The story goes that in the early 1500s, a violent storm uprooted several trees, revealing a strange black material underneath which the local shepherds soon discovered was useful for marking their sheep. It turned out to be graphite, and a cottage industry sprang up in making pencils. The UK's first pencil factory opened in 1832, and still makes Derwent's pencils to this day. Nowadays, Derwent has a reputation for innovation, inspiring artists with new products such as Graphitint, Aquatone and Tinted Charcoal, alongside their classic ranges of Artists, Graphic and Watercolour pencils.