Today I get to admit I was wrong twice, in both cases regarding statements I've made about The Eagle Pencil Company. This article corrects statements I've made concerning the "Stars and Moons" Epenco pencils (page 49 of The Catalogue, as well as my entry here on November 22) and the "Arrow clip" Eagles (page 48 of The Catalogue and my entry here on November 20).
I'll start with the "stars and moons," because it was a discussion of that article on the Zoss List that led me to make both discoveries. When Mike Kirk said that he had heard the "stars and moons" pattern was called the "Merlin" (and Mike Little suggested I should be turned into a frog for some reason), I started digging into the history of these pencils a little further to see what I could find.
My first and last stop in this inquiry was the online library at the Pen Collectors of America's website. Yes, I am a PCA member, even though I hate meetings, committees and assignments (I get enough of all of these things at my day job) because the Pennant magazine is a great publication and the online resources are truly spectacular. Being able to download vintage catalogs from dozens of different manufacturers is tremendously helpful.
Turns out, the PCA has a copy of the 1937 Eagle Pencil Co. catalog, and there was the answer:
So there you have it. The "stars and moons" pencils were referred to, at least in 1937, as the 25 cent "Gleam."
And the 1937 catalog has a lot more to offer, regarding what I have always referred to as the "Arrow clip" Eagles. Here's the photograph of them from page 48 of The Catalogue:
I had theorized that these were Canadian, since the colors were so different from other Eagles and there is a resemblance to Canadian-made Eclipse pencils. However, the 1937 Eagle catalog begs to differ:
So what I have been calling the "arrow clip" is actually Eagle's "Visehold" clip, and it wasn't Canadian. In fact, it was used on all the high end Eagle products in America, including not only the "Flash Fill" line shown here but also on all of its other "Gold Standard" products. The patent drawings reveal even more about these clips, in particular, that the triangular arrows are not purely ornamental. Here is an excerpt of two of the drawings from patent number 1,926,852, which was applied for by Benjamin Hanle on May 31, 1932 and was granted on September 12, 1933:
Turns out that "arrow" is actually the separate piece that holds the clip in place! Hanle's second patent, 2,022,416, was applied for on January 5, 1935 and was granted on November 26, 1935. This improved design incorporated a washer-style feature into this design for mounting at the top of the barrel:
Note that in addition to the top-mounting design, the shape of the clip ball has been changed. It is this shape that was the subject of Design Patent 95,681, issued in May, 1935. Since the round ball Visehold clip appears nowhere in the 1937 catalog, it appears that Eagle phased out the round ball design by that time. Also absent from the 1937 catalog are any Visehold clips mounted mid-barrel.
So now I can break down the examples in my collection into three groups:
1. Round ball Visehold clips, all of which are mounted mid-barrel, streamlined, thinner and found in conventional marbled colors (introduced around 1932).
2. Faceted ball Visehold clips, mounted mid-barrel like the earlier round ball clips, squared off top (introduced around 1935).
3. Faceted ball Visehold clips, mounted at the top of the barrel, squared off top (introduced by 1937).
Now that I know what I'm looking for, I'll have to look more closely at these when I run across them!