The Columbia brand has been part of Australia's stationery history for the past 80 years, with its beginnings being traced back to 1919. With the original plant and offices located on City Rd, Sydney, the Columbia brand focused solely on the importing and distribution of carbon papers and inked ribbons throughout Australia.

In 1931, the founder of Columbia Australia, G.H Horton, secured the machinery, raw materials and technical 'know-how' to produce carbon paper and ribbons in Australia. This was undertaken under the license agreement created with Columbia Ribbon & Manufacturing Company, New York, and was the start of Australian made products being distributed all around the country. This expansion increased in the 1940's with the newly designed factory at Lane Cove, Sydney, and marked the beginning of the mass production of pencils in Australia.

This unique manufacturing method resulted in Columbia Pencil & Crayon Company being the only pencil lead manufacturing plant in the Southern Hemisphere.

The expansion into the pencils category created the beginning of the well loved pencils Australians have come to work with till today. Copperplate, Cadet, Formative and Colour Sketch were all part of the initial production from the Lane Cove based pencil plant. These pencils represented quality and style back then, and continue to do so today in the same fashion.

During this time one thing remained constant, the quality and reliability of the Columbia range of lead and coloured pencils. Changes in production processes and different ranges phased in and out, but the reliability and quality of Columbia pencils have always remained constant.