Friday, July 29, 2016
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Sampson Mordan and Company created many figural pencils during the life of the company. Here I'm showing a magic pencil being represented as a British shilling coin. The coin is real. It was sliced in half horizontally to add another layer of thickness. This allowed room to install a magic pencil mechanism. Yeap, magic pencil is a term used by those serious people. One pulls out the rear extension via the ring and simultaneously the working end is pushed out the other end. Magic! Lets call the time of production on this one the date of the coin - 1887. The pencil is 7/8 of an inch across and 1/4 inch deep.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
From the second half of the 19th century into the 20th century Aikin Lambert Company produced many high quality mechanical pencils. L.E. Waterman bought the company during the second decade of the 20th century. The two companies had a long working relationship prior to that time. The Aikin Lambert name continued after the purchase. In the mid-1920's the Waterman brand marketed its first line of production mechanical pencils. Aikin Lambert never stopped pencil production. Shown here is Waterman's 1st generation pencil alongside the very similar Aikin Lambert. The Aiken Lambert pencil is also inscribed "THE ALCO". The only difference between the two is the trim and the markings. The pencils are oversize models in red hard rubber, 5 1/2 inches in length. The two 'classic' shirt clips later came to identify each company amongst collectors (same clip here - just different unique bends). The Aikin Lambert name was eventually consumed by Waterman.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Leroy W. Fairchild Company produced many varieties of quality Victorian mechanical pencils from the middle of the 19th century into the early part of the 20th century. I'm going to call this example of Fairchild's art a gravity feed, button activated clutch pencil. The clutch (prongs at the pencil tip), grab and release the lead for use or storage. 3 1/4 inches in length. Great style, I think.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Here I'm showing a no name fireplace bellows figural pencil. The lead mechanism is twist activated. This one includes a stanhope lens, which if not broken (heavy sigh), would display several images. Typically displayed scenes would be vacation destinations or religious scenes. Piece is 2" long. Upgrade time!
Monday, July 11, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016
This one is probably (maybe) a British Sampson Mordan figural railway lantern mechanical pencil (markings are very weak). Made of sterling with three telescopic sections (two shown in the picture). The writing lead section is simultaneously propelled out to the working position as the telescopic sections are physically pulled away from the body of the pencil. The lamp lens is made of glass. Another example of this pencil features a hinged cap that has holes in the body to store extra lead. This piece pictured is 1 1/2 inches compressed and 4 5/8 inches extended. Circa 1890.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Mabie Todd produced this 'Opah' mechanical pencil some time in the distant past (maybe 1925, maybe earlier). The pencil is marked 'Made In England' Most Mabie Todd's produced since the 1840's were produced in America. The style looks transitional - from the Victorian to the modern. On another note, it is also an example of how not to use chalk to highlight an imprint. But back to business. Since Mabie Todd was a giant, particularly in it's Victorian heyday, this little interesting pencil is getting its day on me. 4 7/8" long.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
I'm showing a grouping of Onoto mechanical pencils inspired by my friend Myk from here in this Facebook group. Onoto is a British company which has recently seen a rebirth. Very nice new production fountain pens are available today. Back to Myk, his Onoto pencil is second from the right in my picture. Thanks! The pictured Onoto's were produced from the 1930's into the early 1940's. Picture includes a nice German Steno pencil (circa around 1935). It kinda snuck into the shot. The Steno is a nicely chased repeater (push activated). The Onoto's are all twist mechanisms. Onoto's were also produced in Australia. The far left pencil is so marked 'Made In Australia'.