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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Today I'm showing two metal figural mechanical pencils represented as croquet mallets. The top piece is by Sampson Mordan of England. The lower unit is an unmarked no name. It was also likely produced in England. Both are circa 1880'ish. The Mordan tip is deployed by a front twist mechanism to propel and repel. The no name deploys via a channel attached collar - pushing the tip unit in and out for use.



Saturday, June 27, 2020

  A Victorian combination cedar holder and stamp roll dispenser is a bit uncommon.This piece is hallmarked A.M Co and also marked Sterling Silver. My books were no help in identifying the company name via the printed hallmark. It was likely produced in America or England during the last half of the 19th century. Stamp roll dispensers were not uncommon to the era. Single purpose cedar holders were common. After installing a roll of stamps, the cap on this one turns to push the stamps out of the body slot (even works in reverse). Cedar holders feature a held wooden pencil that is driven in and out to the writing position by an attached exterior push / pull collar. The installed shown stamps are not correct to the period (issued much later). The combo length is 4 1/4 inches.



Sunday, June 14, 2020


Wyvern Pen Company of England produced quality pens and mechanical pencils for many decades. Production began during the end of the 19th century. Showing here are two examples of the company's early pencils. Circa 1920's. Both are marked as model name ' "CHUBEE" No 1 '. Materials are hard rubber with gold filled metal trim. The leads are larger in diameter than the standard size of the day. The pieces measure 3 15/16 inches in length and 7/16 inches in diameter.




Tuesday, June 9, 2020

  In 1958 Waterman's closed it's factory in the United States. Manufacturing and administration moved to France. One theory goes that at that time unfinished hard rubber pencils, sitting around for as long as three decades, walked out with employees of the company. Pictured here are some of those pencils. Brand markings were applied as normal, but holes were never drilled for shirt clips or ring tops. Channels were not grooved for trim rings. I call these pencils blanks. Nevertheless, they look like they would have sold if offered. Nobody did hard rubber pencils like Waterman's did hard rubber pencils. Noooobody.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

  Today I'm showing three mechanical pencils represented as life-size acorns. All are unmarked, likely made in England or America. Circa 1880 - 1895.  All move the writing tip section in and out via a twist mechanism. The middle pencil nut features a built in stanhope at it's top.. Think of a stanhope as an optical lens installed on various objects - like a pencil, which displays a group of miniature pictures (typically beach or religious scenes). Measurement lengths are an average 1 3/8 inches closed and 1 1/2 inches ready to write.




Sunday, May 17, 2020

  A Victorian pencil collection in it's infancy (over fifteen years ago). The can is not a prop.  😀









Saturday, May 16, 2020

  Today I'm posting about the Palmer Method of handwriting. To quote from Wikipedia: 'The Palmer Method of penmanship instruction was developed and promoted by Austin Palmer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was largely created as a simplified style of the "Spencerian Method", which had been the major standardized system of handwriting since the 1840s.'
The Palmer Method was widely taught in the K12 school system up into the 1950's. The company produced the sales brochure showing below (likely dating to the second half of the 1920's). It features a shapely, ergonomically pleasant mechanical pencil. That curvish pencil style was popularized by the competition - Zaner-Bloser. Superimposed on the cover side of the brochure's pictures here is a later made Palmer Method pencil. That would be from my stash. Pencils marketed by the company were made for them by a third party mechanical pencil maker(s). The end.   😀