Publishing project gives Kickstarter a one-of-a-kind book

December 23 00:04 2020
NOT JUST PENCILS The Story of a Single Brooklyn Block By Kevin Dann

Brooklyn based New York Times acclaimed author Kevin Dann has just launched Not Just Pencils – a Kickstarter project that will create a custom-made book revealing the stories of the generations of makers who lived and worked on the single Greenpoint block where Kickstarter curates Earth’s prodigious crowdfunded creativity. Backers of the project can now put something under Kickstarter’s Christmas tree for the first time.

Illustrated by the provocative collage art of veteran graphic designer David Powell, Not Just Pencils uncovers the stories of carnivalesque characters like:

• Neziah Bliss, whose Novelty Iron Works employed 1500 people and was America’s largest builder of steamboat engines

• Alpheus Rollins, shipbuilder and inventor who rowed Bliss and others across the East River to Manhattan for 3¢ a trip in his hand–built skiff the Katy Darling

• Magdalena Duryea Meserole, widow and mother of 5 daughters who ran the enormous farm between Noorman’s Kill (Bushwick Inlet) and Mespath Kill (Newtown Creek), long before a single factory smokestack broke Green Point’s Arcadian horizon.

Kickstarter is about to hit a milestone – a quarter million projects launched since it started in 2009. Though more than $5 billion has been given by over 19 million backers, not a single one of the 193,000 projects launched from its digital crowdfunding platform has offered to give a gift back to Kickstarter – until now.

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The pioneering gadgets, gizmos, and machines of 19th century Greenpoint are a kind of ‘prehistory’ of the invention and elaboration of Kickstarter, as Brooklyn’s tech revolution continues to reach across the globe. Not Just Pencils brings the analog steampunk world of the industrial past into a surprising mashup with the digital productions of the post-industrial present.

“Dann takes the road less traveled, leading a reader into out of the way places.” — New York Times Book Review on Expect Great Things

“Kevin Dann himself would make a fascinating traveling companion…” — Wall Street Journal review of The Road to Walden

“There are no ancient monuments to mark New York City’s magical history; in their place, Dann’s historical guide chronicles the city’s lesser-known magical past.” — Foreword Reviews on Enchanted New York


Historian, naturalist, and troubadour Kevin Dann is the author of 13 books, including the NYT–acclaimed Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau. Dann has taught at Rutgers, University of Vermont, and the State University of New York. In 2013 he wrote and produced ENIGMA: THE SHOW, Brooklyn’s first interactive street theater experience.

Media Contact
Company Name: Not Just Pencils
Contact Person: Kevin Dann
Email: Send Email
Phone: 7189381535
Address:419 Clinton Ave.
City: Brooklyn
State: New York, 11238
Country: United States