Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lighter Pencil Week Part 4: Havalite

Sometimes I bid like a girl.  Most of the time, I'm all guy, checking the mechanisms, looking at the design and trying to figure out how it works. . . and then there's times when I just get this huge girly streak and say "oooh, that's pretty.  I don't think I have one in that color."  And I extend my pinky finger and delicately click on "buy it now." 

Today's story is one of those times.  I'll start with the guy part.  Here's the picture of the Havalite that shows up on page 88 of The Catalogue:


I actually stumbled across the patent for the Havalite quite by accident when I was searching for something else.  There was no mistaking it for anything else:


Such manly colors . . . technical drawings . . . just makes the testosterone pump.  But about a month after the book came out, when I saw a red and shiny silver one of these on ebay, I lost all masculine composure and said to myself, "I just need to accessorize!"


OK, that was over the top.  I'll knock that off now.  Of course, there was no way of knowing from the listing that this pencil would also be slightly smaller and, ebay sellers being the photographers that they are, there were some other differences I didn't notice until my package arrived.  Note that the tip has ribbing more typical of pencils from the 1940s.   Here's a closeup of the tops:


On the crown, the venerable logo has been abandoned, and the edges are sloped more to decrease the possibility of denting:


I conclude, based on a side-by-side comparison of these two, that the Havalite remained in production much longer than I originally thought, well into the 1940s from the looks of it.

And the colors were just fabulous.  OK, just had to say that.

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