Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cherry In More Ways Than One

My friend Joe Nemecek picked this one up at the Philadelphia Show last January:


The plain clip can make these tough to place, but those who know what these are know that there’s a subtle "Chilton" imprint right near the middle joint.


However, these inlaid patterns are distinctive and definitely shout out to those who are interested in the brand:


This is one of Chilton’s "Wingflow" pencils. What makes it special are the condition, which in this case is fantastic, but more importantly the color, which collectors refer to as "cherry red" (as opposed to the more common and much more subdued maroon).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Somewhere Along the Road to Oblivion

I don’t remember how this one came my way, and I’ve had the picture laying around long enough that I think it’s best I just say what I know and see if someone can help me fill in the blanks:


By the time Eversharp turned this one out, the wheels were really coming off. The company had only barely survived the ballpoint pen fiasco which began in 1946, during which Eversharp’s investment of millions into the "new" pen were lost though a combination of competition from upstart Reynolds, the invalidation of Eversharp’s patent and the aggressive price wars that followed.

Eversharp beat a hasty retreat from newfangled product development in 1948 with the introduction of the Symphony, a very conventional and old-fashioned pen accompanied by the same repeating pencil the company had been producing since 1936 – dressed up a bit to look all fancy and such. The new old Eversharps failed to capture the public’s attention, and the company went into a painful tailspin that culminated in the sale of the writing instruments division to Parker in 1957.

From what I can tell, these appear to have been made around 1949 or 1950. It appears to be loosely styled after Symphony:


Also, the pencil does have the same repeating mechanism found on the Symphony and earlier models. With the introduction of the Ventura line in 1953, the company switched to a cap-actuated mechanism for its flagship line and painfully cheap nose-drive pencils for everything else. That fluted cap button may not be original – they were interchangeable with the Skylines, Symphonies, and even the Dorics.

I haven’t seen examples of these cataloged by the company, and there’s no reference to them in the 1953 repair catalog. I’ve also found a few other examples along these lines, and the styling appears pretty random:


Especially that one on the bottom.

Friday, October 17, 2014

So Long To Some Old Friends

Note:  this is the last installment in a series of five articles.  The first part was posted here:  http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/artfully-to-point.html.

Until recently, I’d never heard of any of the people involved in the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation story. However, there’s been enough written about them that now that I’ve researched these articles I almost feel like I know them, including many details of their lives outside of Dollar Point.

Wade W. Moore, the inventor of the mechanism inside the Artpoint, never patented any other writing instruments or any other inventions, either. When I first started researching this article, I thought that was odd – most inventors with more than one patent don’t just quit. But after I read this historical account of Moore’s life in the 1926 History of Contra Costa County with Biographical Sketches, it made sense:


Moore (a fellow native Ohioan, I feel compelled to add) was born in 1889 and relocated to the San Francisco area in 1904, where he graduated from law school in 1916 and was admitted to practice in California in 1917. It’s impressive enough that he found the time to tinker around and invent pencils as a young lawyer, but once he was elected Justice of the Peace for Township 6, Contra Costa County in November, 1922, his political position would have eliminated any chance of further work in the field. By the mid-1920s Moore had become a Judge, a position he apparently held for the remainder of his career.

As for Amadee Jolivet Taussig, the stylist for the pencil, he was a building contractor by trade with offices in St. Louis. He was born in 1881, attended preparatory school at Smith Academy and went on to attend Harvard College from 1898 to 1900, but Taussig left Harvard a year before completing his degree.



Taussig apparently relocated to California for a time – whether the Dollar Point opportunity lured him there or whether he met the other principals while he was living there is unknown – but the experience appears to have permanently soured him on the writing instrument industry, and after he designs the Artpoint and Dollarpoint pencils I haven’t found any other involvement by him in the field. He returned to St. Louis, where life must have been very good to him for the remainder of his life: the Amadee J. Taussig Trust Under Will Number 849,131, a private foundation, is still filing tax returns showing assets remaining in excess of $1 million.

Fred Attula, the plant manager for Dollar Point during the days when the company was turning out 1,000 pencils a day, appears to be is the only character out of the bunch who remained involved in the writing instruments industry after the company failed. His formal name was Ernst F. Attula, and he later went on to receive two patents for fountain pens: number 1,548,502 awarded on August 4, 1925 and 1,607,111 awarded on November 16, 1926. The earlier of the two patents was applied for by Attula in January, 1924, which further supports the notion that Dollar Point was on its way out by then.

What’s fascinating about Attula’s piston-fill design was a filling tube which extended through the feed, eliminating the need to dip the entire point in ink to fill it:



Sound familiar? This 1920s invention later became the basis for the Sheaffer Snorkel, and Attula’s patent is referenced in the Snorkel patents. Unfortunately, as of this writing no examples of Attula’s pen are known to have survived, so for whom these pens were designed or whether they were ever put into production remains a mystery.

Fred might – just might – have another connection to the writing industry. Before I learned any of the things I’ve published this week about the Artpoint and Dollarpoint pencils, I didn’t have much to go on. In The Catalogue, I guessed that Samuel Kanner, the man behind the "Presto" and "Nupoint" pencils, might have had something to do with the production of the Western Pencil Company pencils. Kanner, a native New Yorker, died in Los Angeles in 1965, and the clips on these Westerns are very similar to what you might find on an early Presto flattop.


Since then, I’ve learned that Kanner was a producer and probably not a manufacturer, although I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Kanner acquired parts from jobbers who might have supplied other companies, such as Western.  Still, Kanner was in the area, and by 1940 Kanner’s pencils were made by the "Gilfred Corporation" . . . if only I could pin down who "Gil" might be, that might tell me if "Fred" might have been the name of one of Kanner’s buddies from Los Angeles . . .

Nope. Not enough information there. Yet. Someday, I hope to come back to add some more to Fred Attula’s story.

Most interesting of all is the mysterious Jesse E. Roach. There may have been more than one Jesse E. Roach, but I’ll string together the clues I’ve found. If all these bits are about this same guy, Roach had one helluva life.

According to the Texas State Bar, Jesse E. Roach was admitted to practice law in Texas on August 9, 1932. He later was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1935:


After just one term, Roach returned to private practice in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In 1947, on a whim, Roach decided to retire from the practice of law and enter the restaurant business, opening Cattlemen’s Fort Worth Steak House. The restaurant, which he ran until his death in 1988, is a Forth Worth landmark which still remains in operation today.

There’s also a book written by one Jesse E. Roach, published in 1979, titled "Things women hate most in men." If I ever find a copy, I’ll have to see if there’s a chapter in there titled, "Men do goofy things like going into the mechanical pencil business."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The 800-Pound Gorilla

Note:  this is the fourth installment in a series of articles.  The first part was posted here:  http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/artfully-to-point.html.

The future of the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation looked bright at the beginning of 1921. The company had a great new pencil mechanism with fantastic styling, protected by both utility and design patents. The company’s factory was turning out 1,000 pencils per day by mid-year, with plans to double production and construct a larger factory to move into as soon as they company’s lease expired. The former West Coast agent for the Eversharp Pencil Company saw promise in the new pencil and negotiated exclusive rights to distribute it, and J.E. Roach & Co. hired an advertising firm in preparation for a big national advertising campaign.

And then, just as the Artpoint pencil was poised to take the country by storm . . .

nothing.

Somewhere along the way, the wheels came off the locomotive just as it was gathering an enormous head of steam, and the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation seemingly evaporated into thin air. How?

Maybe it was just that the timing was bad. The industrial boom of World War I went bust in 1920, and the United States suffered through a short but very steep Depression that lasted through the middle of 1921. Perhaps Dollar Point stretched itself too thin at a critical time, crippling itself with so much up-front debt that the company wasn’t able to pull itself out, even as the economy improved towards the end of 1921.

But there’s also that curious detail in which Jesse E. Roach established a second company which simultaneously claimed to "manufacture" the Artpoint and Dollarpoint pencils. It’s possible that J.E. Roach & Co. and Dollar Point were created for accounting or strategic reasons, one set up to do the actual manufacturing while the other handled marketing and distribution But another possibility is that there was infighting amongst the principals which eventually brought the company down. Jesse E. Roach appeared to have been the only common denominator between the two companies, and all the patents were assigned to him; Dollar Point was headed up by Amadee Taussig, who created the styling for the pencils. Perhaps Roach wasn’t satisfied with the progress his partners were making towards returning his investment, so he decided to take matters into his own hands, setting up J.E. Roach & Co. in order to hijack Dollar Point’s business – that might explain the sudden appearance of the elusive "Western Pencil Company" a couple years later.

But I have another theory, one which would make Occam proud in its simplicity: Dollar Point wrestled with an 800-pound gorilla and lost. In part one of this series, I commented on the obvious similarities between the Artpoint/Dollarpoint pencils and the Eagle Pointer:


Wade W. Moore’s patent application for the Artpoint (the last one, which has all the elements also found on the Eagle Pointer) beat Alfred Michael’s application for the Eagle Pointer by more than a year – Moore filed on February 17, 1920, while Michael filed on March 26, 1921. However, the Eagle Pencil Company knew all to well that being the last to file doesn’t mean you’ve lost the race – after all, Eagle had elbowed its way to the front of the line before.

Remember last Thursday’s article about Melville’s Patent Solid Ink (http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/one-whale-of-pencil.html)? In 1875, even though Charles Walpuski’s patent application for Eagle’s solid ink (copying lead) was filed after Lothar von Faber’s, the Patent Commissioner nevertheless awarded patent rights to Walpuski, excusing Eagle for the tardy filing on the grounds that – get this – that Eagle actually invented the stuff first, but didn’t see the need to file a patent application for it until someone else did.

Sound familiar?

Look at the timing: at the beginning of February, Dollar Point announces that its first pencils will be out at the end of February – and Alfred Michael files his patent application just one month later. By the end of 1921, as production is gearing up over at Dollar Point, Eagle advertises the new Pointer in Geyer’s Stationer:


Then, pulling a trick out of the Walpuski playbook, Eagle sets out to establish a Pointer heritage that predates the Dollar Point. In January, 1922, the same month J. E. Roach & Co. hires an advertising firm for a planned national campaign, Eagle files a trademark application for the word "Pointer" in distinctive lettering:


Note that the company claims the trademark was first used on January 1, 1911? Hogwash. Sure, Eagle used the word "Pointer," but the goofy arrow-tipped lettering? No, they most certainly did not. The earliest advertisement I found in which Eagle marketed a pencil called the "Pointer" appeared in 1914:


Note the lettering on the pencil. The Pointer in this earlier incarnation apparently didn’t last long, judging from the rarity of these pencils, but I’ve got a couple surviving examples:


These are simple nose drive pencils, and the nose doesn’t come off. The only thing these pencils have in common with the new line of pencils Eagle rolled out in 1921 was the name. And what’s more, it’s the only instance I can "point" to in which Eagle recycled an old name for a new product.

Why would Eagle slap an old name on a new pencil? Only one reason makes sense to me: if Dollar Point ever claimed that Eagle copied the Artpoint, Eagle could counter by saying its "Pointer" had been in production for many years earlier – a half truth that wouldn’t win a patent dispute, but would likely bring any public relations tussle over whether Eagle was unfairly muscling a competitor out of existence to at least a draw.

If all this seems a little bit far-fetched, I’ll add one last detail that takes this story from possible to probable. The formation of the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation was announced on page 19 in the July 21, 1920 issue of The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer.


On the same page — just a couple paragraphs above this announcement, this caught my eye:


Don’t get hung up on the bit about George Reindell’s jaunt to the Orient. What’s important is that Eagle had a Pacific Coast representative who was active enough in the area that his pending absence for a time was newsworthy. Reindell was Eagle’s "boots on the ground" in Los Angeles when Dollar Point was formed, and Reindell certainly noticed the announcement of Dollar Point’s formation while he was checking out his own name in print.

Eagle habitually monitored patent applications as they were filed, and once the names of the principals of Dollar Point were announced, it was crystal clear what pencil they were going to make and when it would be available. Just as had been the case fifty years earlier with Charles Walpuski, Eagle didn’t want the toy that became the new "Pointer" until Dollar Point picked it up and started playing with it.

The confrontation, if it ever occurred, apparently never escalated to a full-fledged patent dispute. Eagle had vastly greater resources than Dollar Point, and if there was a conflict between the two companies it was likely brief, decisive and resolved out of court – with Dollar Point slipping quietly into oblivion.

Against the backdrop of a possible behind-the-scenes scuffle between Dollar Point and Eagle, some other details of the Artpoint story make a lot more sense. Perhaps J.E. Roach & Co. was actually a lifeboat set up by Jesse E. Roach to pick up where Dollar Point would leave off, in anticipation of a confrontation with Eagle which would inevitably force Dollar Point out of existence. Perhaps after Dollar Point failed, Roach (with or without some of his former associates) quietly tried to recoup their lost investment by setting up a company called "Western Pencil Company," making pencils with only a passing resemblance to the Artpoint line and leaving off the "patented" imprint in an attempt to fly under Eagle’s radar.

It’s a great story, but all it is right now is a theory that happens to perfectly fit all of the facts I’ve got. That’s the point at which the best I can do is throw out there what I know, and hope that someone out there will stumble across this article and fill in the blanks for me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Going On In That Phone Booth?

Note:  this is the third installment in a series of articles.  The first part was posted here:  http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/artfully-to-point.html.

In 1924, just as brightly colored celluloid pencils were about to render all-metal pencils out of style, the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation and J. E. Roach & Co., both of which claimed to manufacture Artpoint and Dollarpoint brand pencils, apparently vanished. What made these pencils distinctive, in addition to their heavy, durable construction and spot-on styling, was the patented mechanism, invented by Wade W. Moore and assigned to Jesse E. Roach:


I have never heard of or seen an Artpoint or Dollarpoint in celluloid, so one possible explanation for the company’s disappearance is natural extinction - a failure to adapt to the new trend in writing instruments. But then I remembered another brand that I’ve thought about for a long time:


All of these are marked "Western Pencil Co. / Los Angeles." I’d like to make the sweeping statement that while the Artpoint/Dollarpoint pencils are never found in plastic, Western Pencil Co. pencils are never found in metal, but in all my years of scrounging around and buying every one of these I’ve ever seen, these are the only three that I’ve seen (most recently more than ten years ago). Such a sweeping statement would hardly be based on a very representative sampling.

The Los Angeles connection seems obvious. . . how many pencil companies during the golden age can you name from LA? Still, that alone didn’t convince me that Western Pencil was a successor to Dollar Point and/or J. E. Roach – connecting companies solely based on both being located in the same major U.S. city is thin, even by my standards. Fortunately, there’s more here you should see. Look more closely at the nose:


There’s the same ribs you would find on an Artpoint, and a key element of the design patents for the Artpoint assigned to Jesse E. Roach. And should you prod further and remove the nose . . .


There’s exactly the same rear drive pencil mechanism. It’s as if mild-mannered metal pencil company Dollar Point went into a phone booth, and moments later Western Pencil Company emerges with flashy new plastic products. Daa dada daaaaa....

Unfortunately, all I have are the pencils themselves to support my suspicions. I still haven’t turned up any documentation concerning the Western Pencil Company - not at the 16th Avenue address formerly occupied by Dollar Point and not in connection with any of the names of the principals of either Dollar Point or J.E. Roach & Co.

Fortunately, the pencils themselves do provide a clue as to what became of all of them, and that’s another story entirely: none of the Western Pencil Company pencils are marked "patented," even though all of the Taussig and Moore patents assigned to Roach were still less than ten years old and would presumably still have been in effect. That curious omission, combined with a stunt before the Patent Commissioner by a competitor fifty years earlier, suggests a likely answer to what became of Dollar Point, J.E. Roach and Western Pencil.

This story continues at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-800-pound-gorilla.html.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It Was All In the Names

Note:  this is the second part in a series of articles.  The first part is found here:  http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/artfully-to-point.html.

Sometimes all it takes for the pieces of the puzzle to come together is a name. When it comes to the Artpoint and Dollarpoint pencils, yesterday’s article gave us several of them: Wade W. Moore, inventor of the Artpoint and Dollarpoint, Amadee J. Taussig, the pencil’s artistic designer, and Jesse E. Roach, the man to whom both the utility and design patents were assigned. These names, and a few others that turned up in connection with them, were all the ammunition needed to unravel a fairly complete history of the Dollarpoint and Artpoint pencils.

The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer reported the organization of the Dollarpoint Pencil Corporation in its July 1, 1920 issue, identifying the incorporators as J. E. Roach, Wilbur E. Smith and Lester William Roth:


Also in 1920, Modern Stationer announced that The Dollarpoint Pencil Corporation was planning to introduce two lines of pencils: the lower-priced Dollarpoint line for $1.00, and the more expensive Artpoint line with prices from $1.50 to $3.50. That explains why the Dollarpoint pencils lack the intricate patterns found on the Artpoint line:


In the February 12, 1921 issue of The American Stationer and Office Outfitter, the Cardinell Vincent Co., a firm better known for greeting cards, post cards and similar products, announced that it had also become the western agent for the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation and that samples would be ready by the end of that month:


Why would a greeting card company get involved selling mechanical pencils? In this case, it was because the company had experience dealing in them. Here’s an advertisement for Ever Sharp pencils during the days Charles Keeran owned the Eversharp Pencil Company, before he was bought out by the Wahl Adding Machine Company:


See that last line? Five years earlier, Cardinell Vincent became the sole Pacific coast agent for Keeran’s Eversharp Pencil Company. Just as sales were beginning to take off, Wahl decided they didn’t need Charles Keeran and apparently decided they didn’t need Cardinell Vincent, either. One can only imagine what they were thinking over at Cardinell Vincent between 1917 and 1920, as they watched Wahl’s meteoric rise to become one of the "big four" writing instrument manufacturers in the country – no doubt they would have thought about how much they would have made in commissions had they been kept on board! Given this, it’s no surprise Cardinell Vincent would roll the dice on another fledgling pencil company.

Dollarpoint began operations in May, 1921 in a leased building located at 1001 West 16th Street, Los Angeles. That same month, Southwest Builder and Contractor reported a curious development: the incorporation of the J.E. Roach & Co. as a "manufacturer’s business" in its May 13, 1921 issue. J.E. Roach, G. H. Janeway and Ruth E. Leaf served as initial directors:


On July 16, 1921, the American Stationer reported that the new pencils were in circulation on the west coast and were being well received:


In November, 1921, Western Advertising reported that J. E. Roach & Co. hired the advertising firm of Smith & Harris Advertising Agency. By this time, it is unclear who is making the pencils: the patents were assigned to Jesse E. Roach and J. E. Roach & Co. is identified as the manufacturer of the "Dollar Point Pencil":


In December, 1921, The Timberman reported that the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation was producing 1,000 pencils per day and was hoping to double its production.


On December 21, 1921, Geyer’s Stationer corroborated the note in The Timberman with a more detailed account of the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation’s activities, including the company’s plans to construct a permanent manufacturing facility to move into at the termination of the company’s lease at 1001 West 16th as well as a national advertising campaign "as fast as production will warrant":


The J.E. Roach Co. is listed in Western Advertising’s January, 1922 directory of advertisers, associated with Smith & Harris to promote both Dollarpoint and Artpoint pencils:


By 1924, however, J. E. Roach & Co. is not listed in the Directory of California Manufacturers published by the California Development Association – however, the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation is, still at the 16th Street address, and still making Dollarpoint and Artpoint pencils:



What was Jesse E. Roach up to? From all the evidence I have found, he is the only common denominator between the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation and J. E. Roach & Co. – and contemporary reports are inconsistent with respect to which company was making these pencils. Roach was the assignee on the patents – at least at the time they were issued, but it looks like once Dollar Point is up and running, Roach doesn’t have much of anything to do with it.

Was J. E. Roach & Co. a separate company set up to market pencils made by Dollar Point, or was it the other way around? Or was Jesse E. Roach so dissatisfied with the Dollar Point gang that he set up a competing company to try to muscle them out? I wish I knew.

What I do know is regardless of whether Jesse E. Roach was still affiliated with Dollar Point, he was still actively involved in the mechanical pencil industry as of April 25, 1923, when he applied for the only pencil patent he received in his own name:


This new design looks like it might be along the Dollarpoint/Artpoint lines – at least, it appears to have the same joint part of the way up the barrel, where you would expect to see one on an Artpoint. Roach’s design patent number 65,352, issued on July 29, 1924, wasn’t assigned to Dollar Point or J.E. Roach & Co. -- but that doesn’t mean much, since all the other Artpoint/Dollarpoint patents were assigned to Roach individually, as well. If an example of these ever surfaces, it would be interesting to read whatever imprint lurks underneath the cap!

I found no references to the Dollar Point Pencil Corporation dated after 1924. Elaborate plans for a new factory must have been scrapped, since the 1924 Directory of California Manufacturers lists the company at the same leased space it had occupied since 1921. Also abandoned must have been the planned national advertising campaign – or else Smith & Harris were really lousy advertising agents. Cardinell Vincent apparently decided that two losing bets on fledgling pencil companies were a clear sign that the company needed to go in a different direction, and I haven’t seen their name in connection with any others.

And so, on the eve of the rise in celluloid pencils and the decline in metal pencil, the Dollar Point Pencil Company apparently vanishes without a trace.

Almost without a trace, that is . . .

Note:  this story continues at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/whats-going-on-in-that-phone-booth.html.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Artfully to the Point

Artpoint is a brand that I hoard. If I see one, and it’s reasonably priced, I’ve got to bring it home for closer examination in the hopes that I might find out something more about it:


Here’s an example I picked up recently . . er, comparatively so. I think I found this one at the Chicago show:


The detailing and heavy barrels on these are what led me to describe these in The Catalogue as "the finest metal pencils of the 1920s."


More often, these are found in what appears to be nickel plate, but every so often one will turn up with gold fill over brass:


I’ve noticed a few subtle variations. Most of the ones I’ve found have "Artpoint" cast near the nose. Sometimes there are four distinct lines that fill the empty space where the word doesn’t wrap quite all the way around:


Sometimes there are three and a half lines:


Sometimes there’s just one:


And sometimes there's none at all.  By the way, did you notice that the floral motif wraps the other way around the barrel in the above picture? I haven’t found any rhyme or reason to that . . . some just point one way, and others point the other.  Very rarely, you might find one with no floral motif at all:


One thing I have consistently found is that when the bands are plain, the imprint reads "Dollarpoint"  accompanied by three distinct lines.


"Consistently" in this case is hardly based on a good representative sample: in all my scrounging, all I’ve found are a pair of ringtops, and both have three lines. And of those two, one has a fun detail: the ring attached to the top is formed in the shape of a "D":


The reason I find myself compelled to purchase these whenever I find them is because there’s sometimes a secret hidden under the caps. They are threaded on, but most of the time they are wedged on so tightly that it takes quite a bit of . . . persuasion to coax them off.


Since it usually takes quite a bit of wrestling with these caps to see what’s underneath them, and Sellers get nervous if you wrestle too much with their wares before deciding whether to buy them, I usually find it’s best to pony up a few dollars and do the aggravating part, accompanied by appropriate expletives, in the privacy of my own home. In many cases, I have no luck and the pencil will stay like this. When I’m lucky, the cap eventually eases off, and if there’s anything stamped on the barrel under the cap, here’s what you’ll find


"Patented / Dollarpoint Pencil Corp. / Los Angeles, Cal." The "Patented" bit had me stumped for years. I would have been surprised if the mechanism itself is what was referred to, since it is nearly identical to the patented mechanism found on the Eagle "Pointer" issued on February 7, 1922 (see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/05/nothing-new-under-sun.html ):


Other than this observation, my research stalled long, long ago, leaving me wrestling cap after cap in the vain hope that one day I’d find a more helpful imprint underneath. Years went by, until I began researching patents for American Writing Instrument Patents Volume 2: 1911-1945, and as I was reviewing patents one by one this one caught my eye:


Design patent 57,397 was applied for by Amadee J. Taussig of Hollywood, California on November 9, 1920, and was issued on March 15, 1921. The patent was assigned to a Jesse E. Roach, also of Hollywood.

Even though the cap in this design patent is different from the Artpoints and Dollarpoints I’ve found, the ribbing near the nose paired with a southern California connection, seemed like too much to be a coincidence. I jotted "Artpoint?" in the margin of my notes, thinking I might later find something else to tie this patent to the Artpoint/Dollarpoint line of pencils. I didn’t have to wait for long, since the next one on my list to look at was design patent 57,398:


I removed the question mark from margin of the previous entry. This patent has the same application date, issue date, inventor and assignee. As a bonus, there was a third variation patented as Design Patent number 57, 399:


By the time I finished my research for Volume 2, these were the only three patents I had found which were issued to Mr. Taussig. However, as for Jesse Roach, the assignee, the story wasn’t over. In addition to these three design patents, he was also assigned three utility patents, all from an inventor named Wade W. Moore. The first, number 1,352,677, was for an eraser and cap design:


This is clearly the threaded cap found on both Artpoint and Dollarpoint pencils. Then there was number 1,369,347:


Maybe, but probably not. While this may share some elements of an Artpoint/Dollarpoint, the tip on this drawing appears to be integrated into the barrel, rather than being detachable. Also, when I compare this to the examples I’ve found, the lead magazine feature shown in these drawings isn’t present – there’s a slot running from the center to the edge of a solid disk under the eraser, but the slot isn’t wide enough to admit a piece of lead.

But the last of Moore’s patents was number 1,382,928, applied for on February 17, 1920 and issued on June 28, 1921:


This is clearly our pencil – and note that the lead storage in the nose rather than the barrel, just like an Eagle Pointer.


Alfred Michael’s patent for what later became the Pointer was filed on March 26, 1921 – more than a year after Moore filed his application on February 17, 1920. Michael’s patent was also issued a year later than Moore’s, on February 7, 1922. One thing is clear: I will never again say the Artpoint looks like an Eagle Pointer. I will say the Pointer looks like an Artpoint!

Note:  part two of this story follows at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/10/it-was-all-in-names.html.