Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Early Slencils

Since The Catalogue was published, I've found a few other neat examples of the early metal Slencils shown on page 150:


Note that while two of these have a conventional nose-drive mechanism, the remainder have Harris' unique mid-barrel mechanism, for which he applied for his original patent in 1933.  However, this group of pencils showcase several of his other innovations, mostly involving the clips:


The one on the left in this picture seems to be the most prevalent found on these metal slencils.  The wire clip, as discussed at page 149 of The Catalogue, was patented in 1943 and made to accompany a special memo pad or address book Harris also patented.  Therefore, the wire clip Slencils were sometimes referred to as the "Social Slencil":


The next example is Harris' adjustable sliding clip, which was one of Harris' earliest innovations (patent applied for in 1934, granted in 1936):


The middle one is a really elegant little clip.   Although there's nothing that is technologically unique about it, I think it's about the prettiest clip Harris used:


In 1953, Harris patented an updated version of the metal Slencil, into which he incorporated a more traditional side clip.  By this point, most of the Slencils being produced were of the larger plastic models, so you don't see to many of these:


And this last one is a real treat.  Not only does it have really neat deco flair to it:


But viewed from the side, there's something really familiar about this one:


Recognize it?  Catalogue readers, check out page 101, frame 4!

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