Friday, September 14, 2012

The Secretary Pen Company

The Secretary Pen Company of Newark, New Jersey was left out of The Catalogue. I don’t know why, really, because I had a few examples, but for whatever reason, I forgot to include it. The company has an interesting pedigree: Joseph V. Wustman founded the Camel Pen Company in 1935, but Camel quickly succumbed during the depression, closing its doors in 1938.

Ever the optimist, Wustman acquired the equipment and tooling from Camel and started a new business called the Newark Pen Company. Newark Pen made some nice pens called the "Secretary," but within a few years the company apparently renamed itself "Secretary Pen Company" and started to turn out advertising pieces that were, well, kitchy.

That bunch I picked up at Springfield included several of the typical examples made by the Secretary Pen Co.:


Including an Elsie the Cow and a Lucky Strike pencil:


A couple years ago I picked up another Secretary at the Don Scott Show. I remember it being at the very end of the show, and I sheepishly had to ask Janet for a little bit of cash for it, since I’d already had more than my share of fun:


This one is a little different in two respects. Not only is the body plastic rather than metal, but the top half is styled with rocket fins:


The pencil advertises a car dealership in Uniontown, Pennsylvania:


Above the window is the phrase "Oldsmobile Rockets Ahead!"


and the pencil is complete with a tiny car in the floaty middle section of the pencil:


The car is more anatomically correct than one might expect from a mere advertising pencil. The profile matches most closely sedans made by Oldsmobile in 1948 and 1949, and Oldsmobile introduced its "Rocket" engines in 1948. All of which is neat in and of itself, but this pencil is near and dear to me as I have been since my first car an Oldsmobile man. See, I wasn’t buying just pencils this summer:


Meet my 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass, "Slow Burn." She got her name from a buddy of mine, who made that comment after her black vinyl seats, coupled with clear skies and hot Ohio summer days, led to a ride that was memorable on the backs of our legs one afternoon.

Now if you’ll excuse me, with summer waning and precious few days left to put the top down this fine Friday, I’m off for now!

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