Friday, June 8, 2012

Now You Can Call Them By Name

If you have a box of unmarked or castoff pencils laying around somewhere, I'd bet you have at least one of these in there:


These are found in a wide variety of colors and several varieties, all of which have a couple things in common:  that middle joint that is lower on the barrel, the streamlined top and the clip.   When I first started collecting pencils, I'd put together a pretty nice mini-collection of about a dozen colors of these, but as I became more focused on studying the different manufacturers I let most of mine go, since none of these are marked and I had no leads to go on.

Then in an online auction I found something that explained a lot more about these pencils.  When the item arrived, the box it came in was pretty unremarkable:


But inside were a dozen of these pencils in several colors:


Folded neatly under the tray of pencils was a fold-up store display card, which had never been used:


The Joseph Lipic Pen Company, from St. Louis, Missouri, appears at page 176 of The Catalogue, in the "Just a couple more" section that I added shortly before the book went to press.  


While the company turned out at least one brand name, "Radium Point," and a few advertising pencils along the lines of the early Ritepoints with a name imprint on the cap, I've always thought Lipic was a pretty obscure manufacturer.  Now that I've learned the company made these pencils, which are such a prevalent sight today, I no longer think of Lipic as obscure, but as unassuming!

Here's shots of the warranty cards:


and the back:

2 comments:

Michael Little said...

I accidentally found out some more Lipic related info today. I was surfing "The Bay" and found a Readyriter pencil that had an interesting imprint on it, which included Sample L-334
I would have thought that to be something I would find on a Lipic pencil.
I did some research and found a web page of someone who had done a lot of work on Presidential writing instruments.
A statement there caught my eye:

"Note: It appears that the Joseph Lipic Pen Company of St. Louis, Missouri was, at least in the early ‘80s, the manufacturer of Ready Riter pens. The Lipic company has been around for some time and was an early producer of promotional pens, selling imprinted dip pens (non presidential) as early as 1914."

Well, that explains why the Readyriter sample number looked so much like the Lipic sample number.

Readyriter is a sub-brand of Lipic.

Michael Little

Anonymous said...

Lipic Pen Company did produce a line of pens and advertising speciality items under the name of ReadyRiter. In the 70's onward that's how you'll see most of their work. Lipic during this period was only used for special runs such as Presidential Pens, or those made for the family (I'm a relative). In the earlier days LIPIC was used on the clip or imprinted on the knife, etc.

Also, LIPIC PEN should not be confused with RITEPOINT as they were two totally separate companies and shared no ownership. Lipic was operated by Joseph Lipic Jr, Emile Lipic and Leonard Lipic. Ritepoint was founded in 1933 by their brother Sylvester who left the company and started on his own. Ritepoint is best known for their advertising speciality pens and clear lighters.