Thursday, December 15, 2011
"What the Heck is This?"
I know that it would be silly to play a "guess what this is" game with this piece. This is a blog about mechanical pencils. Of course it's a pencil.
That doesn't mean that I didn't fall for it, though. A friend approaches me at the Ohio Pen Show and says, "I'll bet you don't know what this is," and I'm thinking to myself "OK, Jon. . . you know this. Television remote control? No. Nuclear weapon detonator? No, looks a little small. Pocket pasta maker? Hmm..."
Duh. I'm at a pen show. I'm a pencil guy with a giant booth promoting my new book about pencils. Someone approaches me with an object and asks me to guess what it is. Why did I fall for it? He should have asked me if I wanted a "hurts donut" while he was at it.
So here's the pencil:
What an interesting, different piece -- really. This is the first pencil I've seen that has a screw in "section" like a fountain pen, which makes me wonder first off why more fountain pen manufacturers didn't think of this. Simply put a pencil mechanism in a section instead of a nib and feed and presto, youve got a quick way to make pencils to match your pens. This had to be a "why didn't I think of that" moment for a lot of manufacturers, but apparently the idea didn't catch on.
So I've admitted that I fell for it and didn't expect this to be a pencil when it was presented to me. But today I will have the last laugh, because although this piece is unmarked, I can tell you to a moral certainty exactly what it is. Here's a closeup of the top of the case and the bottom of the pencil:
Interesting, isn't it? Such a distinctive flat coin-shaped protrusion on that rounded top.
As a proud Ohioan, I have a pretty good collection of pencils made by the Pick Pen Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Here is a pair that I picked up at the Ohio show:
Hmmm... the plastic on that top example looks pretty close to today's mystery pencil:
Pick pencils from this era are pretty easy to spot in the crowd, thanks to their distinctive tops, shown here compared with our mystery piece:
So yes, I know what this is. It's a Pick pocket pencil. Nana nana boo boo.