Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Award for "Least Inspiring Patent" Goes To . . .

One of the early Eagle's pictured on page 45 of The Catalogue is the No. 831 "Spear," a short, simple pencil that comes in black enamel over brass.  Since the book was published, I've run across a couple other variations:


The top one I was really excited to find, since it is the only one I've seen that has a patent date on it, instead of the typical "Eagle Pencil Co. New York":


Yes, I know that the highlighting isn't very good.  Remember that there's not a real imprint on these, just a very light stamp in the enamel paint. 

A few weeks ago I posted an article about Eagle's "banner year" of 1909, when the company received two patents on the venerable "Torpedo" series of pencils.  Unfortunately, the patents turned out to be a letdown, with one being for a rather bland design and the other being for a simple spring floor in the spare lead compartment. 

The Spear shares many of the same mechanical features as the Torpedo, and here's a patent date from a year earlier -- could this be the real patent for the workings behind these pencils? 

Sadly, no.  And if the Torpedo patents were a letdown, the Spear patents are a real snoozer.   Yes, there's two of them, both issued on September 22, 1908:

But wait -- if Harry Heymann's design patent doesn't inspire shock and awe, Claes Boman's elaboration is even better:

Oooh.  Round with a little rib.  And round with a little rib and a little smaller end.

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