Sampson Mordan was a British silversmith and a co-inventor of the first patented mechanical pencil. In 1822, Mordan and his co-inventor John Isaac Hawkins filed the first patent in Great Britain for a metal pencil with an internal mechanism for propelling the graphite ""lead"" shaft forward during use, as an improvement on the less complex leadholders that merely clutched the pencil lead to hold it into a single position.
Mordan bought out Hawkins and entered into a business partnership with Gabriel Riddle, an established stationer. From 1823 to 1837, they manufactured and sold silver mechanical pencils with the marking ""SMGR"". After the partnership with Riddle dissolved, Mordan continued to sell his silver pencils as ""S. Mordan & Co."", adding many other types of silver and gold items to his product line. Mordan often made his pencils in whimsical ""figural"" shapes that resembled animals, Egyptian mummies, or other objects; like his other silverware and goldware, these pencils are now highly collectible.