Here's a nifty little find from Chicago:
This is a clutch pencil with a painted metal barrel, and it strongly resembles the Lovejoy patent design that was used on some Moore, Eversharp and Dur-O-Lite pencils, but it might be different on the inside -- I haven't been able to get it apart. The pencil sports a Listo accommodation clip, but the clip may or may not be original to this pencil.
What made the pencil interesting to me is the lettering painted on the side:
"Top-O-Matic with Guided Lead Action." The smart aleck in me would add a third line: "because it's way better than shooting lead out willy nilly."
When I first wrote this article, this was the end of the story. But Michael Little was with me when I bought this one in Chicago, and nothing gets by this guy. When Mike gets to thinkin' about something, it's usually only a matter of time before I get to buyin'. He emails me a couple weeks ago to let me know he's got another Top-O-Matic he thinks I might like:
He was right, obviously. This boxed example is about as crisp as you would expect to find:
And the presence of that clip tells me that I don't want to see what's probably a big, ugly hole underneath that accommodation clip on my Chi-town find:
The one I got from Mike has an additional line of text on the barrel:
But "Goodwill Products" doesn't appear anywhere on the paperwork. Here's one side:
Aha. That explains why I haven't been able to get it apart. On the other side, the maker of the Top-O-Matic is revealed:
Mays Associates of Providence, Rhode Island. I'm hoping there's more to know about this, but for now I've reached a dead end.