Musgrove Pencil Company Shelbyville, Tennessee

Musgrove Pencil Company, Shelbyville, Tennessee

     The Musgrave Pencil Company is located at 701 W. Lane Street, Shelbyville, Tennessee.   The company was founded by James Radford Musgrave in 1916.  He opened a mill to process  red cedar into pencil slats.  He engaged in a type of recycling with local farmers exchanging their old red cedar rails for wire fencing.    He did this from 1916 to 1923.  He sold the pencil slats to manufacturers in Europe.  During Wold War One he marketed the slats to American Manufacturers.

Musgrove Pencil Company

     Beginning in late 1919, Musgrave began the pivot to production of pencils.  He obtained the necessary machinery from Europe. He located a German Mechanic in Saint Louis to help him with start up of production. About the same time, wood for pencil production switched to California Incense Cedar.  By the 1920’s, the Musgrave Plant was making it’s own pencils.  During World War 2, many of the plant workers were woman.

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