Thursday, July 19, 2012

This Eversharp Has Me Stumped

I saw this one in an online auction and thought it deserved a closer look.  Several closer looks later, I still don't know quite what to make of it:


Doesn't look like it fits together very well, does it?  Well hold on and bear with me.  First, notice the cap, which is in itself unusual: 


Late 1940s, maybe early 1950s, I should think, but the only other cap I've seen in an Eversharp that looks anything like the tapered all metal top seen here is found on the "Wahl Ball," a cheap ballpoint the company produced at around that time, but the cap on the Wahl Ball is chrome plated steel with a gold plated clip, and of course the clip says "Wahl Ball."   Now look closer at what appears to be that lousy fit of the cap:


Hmm... that trim band isn't like anything else I've seen on an Eversharp, but I'm confident that this is correct.  Why?  That recess isn't for a slip-on cap on a nose-drive pencil -- this is a cap-actuated pencil, and the cap travels down that recessed portion perfectly, to within a sixteenth of an inch of that shoulder. 

Disassembled, the pencil is clearly all Eversharp:


Here's the mechanism from this odd duck posed next to a typical Eversharp Skyline mechanism:


The only difference between the two is that the skyline has an internal bushing that clamps the jaws down within the mechanism, while the other uses the tip itself to close down the jaws -- just like the Moore Pen Company's Lovejoy patent which Eversharp either licensed or purchased from Moore (see "Dawn of the Fingertip - And Beyond" on April 23):


And at the other end, rather than a button advancing the mechanism, that unusual flared top fits within the cap:


The only other cap-actuated Eversharp pencil is the Ventura, which was introduced in 1953, so when I compare the two, there are some unmistakable similarities:


Note that with the exception of a single groove found on the Ventura, the profiles of the ferrules and barrels are nearly identical -- the opening is just a bit shorter, and therefore wider, to accommodate the mechanism protruding through it:


and the mechanisms, side by side, show many of the same similarities as with the Skyline:


My best guess is that this was an early attempt by Eversharp, predating the Ventura, to perfect a cap-actuated mechanism.

No comments: