Monday, April 2, 2012

The Pencil in the Iron Mask

Although this one wasn't the pencil I was looking at in that fuzzy ebay picture of a whole mess of pencils, when it arrived I had to give this one a closer look:


The pencil itself is pretty unremarkable -- just your typical, unmarked late 1940s or so pencil.  But that clip!


How gothic is that?  And the best part was that there's a patent number on it:


A few minutes later, I had a much better understanding of this pencil.  The patent was issued to Harry Esterow on December 13, 1949 as Design Patent 156,413:

I'd never heard of Harry Esterow before, but a google search brought up page after page of references on this guy, mostly for design patents for pen and pencil clips.  Esterow, a Latvian immigrant, founded a company called Ideal Metal Products in New York in 1925, and the business continues to this day, still run by the Esterow family. 

After I looked up this patent and saw the title of it, I went back to my pencil and gently wiggled and pulled on the clip until it came off.  And whaddaya know. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have one of these hooded clips on an all metal chrome pencil. The Hood on the clip says: MADE IN U.S.A. PAT. NO. 156413 and the shaft OF THE CLIP says WINDSOR

Michael Little
Phoenix, Arizona
eBay ID: Halfhyde