You won’t find the Alexander Products Corporation of Bloomington, Illinois anywhere in The Catalogue. I knew the brand was out there, but I just didn’t see fit to include it because all I had seen out there were cheap, giveaway advertising pencils.
So when Joe Nemecek called me before the DC show to ask if I’d be interested in buying a fully stocked card of Alexander pencils if he brought them to the show, I agreed but I was skeptical. I think Joe could hear it in my voice, and since he has had the same general experience with Alexanders, he reassured me. "You’ll like these," he said. "They’re stylish."
When I saw them, I had to agree with him:
Now there’s a lady that looks like she loooves these pencils, doesn’t she? A google search turned up a blog article from my fellow blogger Kiwi Dave at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils. Back in 2007, he posted an entry featuring an advertisement for these very pencils, called the "Alexander the Great Pencil" which appeared in the September 6, 1946 edition of Colliers’ Weekly:
These might predate that advertisement, because that catchy name is completely absent from this display card. They are all metal pencils with anodized blue, red and black barrels:
They are nose drive pencils, with cool ribbed nose sections:
Here’s a closeup of the clips – pardon the dust, but given that the paper labels are extremely fragile, I’ve not attempted to clean them at all:
According to the price labels, these were simply referred to as the "Model 100" and sold for a dollar apiece.
For 1946, these were really ahead of their time – without the display card and the Collier’s ad, I would have guessed them to be at least ten years younger than they are!