Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Setting the Stage

I’ve got a couple of really neat things to show you that I found at the DC Show, but before I do, I need to back up for a second and set the stage if this is going to make any sense.

Charles Keeran applied for the patent for the original Eversharp pencil on October 10, 1913, and the patent was issued as number 1,130,741 on March 9, 1915. Here’s the patent drawing:

Those earliest of Eversharps, made by Keeran’s company before his fateful meeting with the Wahl Adding Machine Company resulted in Wahl taking over production of his pencils and getting into the writing instrument business, are extremely rare. I’m fortunate enough to have found and acquired three examples:


The patterns on the original Eversharps are unlike anything that Wahl produced:

My most recent find, which came to me through Greg Weddig, was the one in the checkerboard pattern, and it bears a commemorative date of December 25, 1916 on top of the crown:


This one was looking a little worn, so at the Chicago Show last May, I had Bruce Mindrup work some plating magic on the clip. Now it looks fresh as the day it was made:


Getting back to the story, the unique clips on these, marked "Pat. App. For," were invented by George W. Heath and Alfred C. Heath, who applied for their patent for it on June 12, 1912 and received patent number 1,145,583 on July 6, 1915:

That’s why these earliest Eversharps are called "Heath clip Eversharps" by collectors. The presence of these clips, combined with the metal work, has lead most people that study these, myself included, to conclude that the entire pencils, and not just the clips, were manufactured by George W. Heath & Co. of Newark, New Jersey.

So now that you have this background, tomorrow I’ll show you what I found in DC . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.