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The history of the graphite pencils which are made today in the factory in Hirm stretches back as far as 1790, the year in which the successful architect and entrepreneur Joseph Hardtmuth invented the very first graphite pencil in Vienna. As a result, a firm was founded and a manufacturing site in Vienna was acquired, which was eventually relocated in Hirm in the nineteen seventies. The original firm founded by Hardtmuth is run today by a company in the Czech Republic. The production plant in Hirm was acquired in 1996 by Hans Wolfgang Hromatka, an Austrian entrepreneur, art lover and passionate collector of pencils, who has since transformed the company from a state of bankruptcy to the thriving manufacturer of artists' materials that it is today.