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Sunday, December 30, 2018

  The Indian combination fountain pen and pencil on the far left might be the most recognizable of this bunch. Second and third from the left are classic fountain pen and pencil respectively - made by Waltham. All are properly marked on the shirt clips. The far right stubby pencil is unmarked. Some experts agree all were probably made by Waltham. The pattern came in 3 or 4 color combinations. Circa 1935.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

In the later half of the 19th century mechanical pencils represented as many diverse objects were popular. One of these groupings was creatures or animals. Figural pencils resembling fish, elephants, and many other things that moved, were created. Showing here are a pair of owl figural pencils. The piece on the left was produced in England by the Sampson Mordan Company. The right piece was likely made by the William S. Hicks Company in the United States. Both pencils deploy the writing tip via the magic pencil mechanism (pulling out one end simultaneously pushes out the opposite working end). Magic! Both were produced circa 1880. The Mordan is 1 1/4 inches long closed and 2 1/4 inches extended. The Hicks is 1 1/8 inches long closed and 2 1/4 inches extended. Who?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wahl-Eversharp produced many metal mechanical pencils in the early part of the 20th century. Metal in the period was the primary pencil material. W-E's pencils were extremely popular. Mechanical pencils were sometimes referred to as eversharps. Much less commonly found today is the smallest of the brand - The Tiny Eversharp. Circa 1920's. Produced in the United States and England. The pencils are 3 1/8 inches long and no more than 1/8 of an inch in diameter. Tiny!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

  Pencils as musical instruments here. Two Sampson Mordan mechanical pencils represented as the larger recorder and smaller flute. The writing units are deployed telescopically by the recorder and by twist action with the flute. Material is sterling silver on both pieces. Circa 1885. The larger recorder is 2 3/4 inches long in the closed position and 3 3/4 inches extended. The flute closed is 2 1/8 inches long and extended 1 3/4 inches. Classical music anyone?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Producers of new things have always required a method of documenting the progress in their development One of those methods involves assigning development shop numbers at key points in progress. Here are examples of shop numbering from the Sheaffer's factory in Fort Madison, Iowa. All are mechanical pencils. Circa 1920's-1930's. Showing top to bottom is a Sheaffer's sub-brand Univer, followed by a Sheaffer's and lastly two Sheaffer's Wasp sub-brand pencils. Disclaimer: There are no bends in the pieces, just disappointing optics.