Saturday, November 10, 2012

Worth The Price Of Admission

For the bargain basement price of 99 cents, I won a small group of tired pencils in an online auction, including this one:


It’s a leadholder, and the barrel is so thin that someone actually cracked it in a couple places just by tightening the clutch around the lead. But it has a few interesting features. Around the top is a name I hadn’t heard of before:


"Beegee." It seems that the only reason I hadn’t heard of this one is that so few of them survived (did I mention how thin the barrel was?), not that there weren’t many made. The earliest advertisement I could find for the pencil was in the June, 1914 edition of The Magazine of Business:


And according to this advertisement,in the 1914 edition of "The World Almanac and Book of Facts," the pencil could be ordered with your birthstone:


Well whaddaya know! The example I received has a turquoise jewel on top, and that happens to be my birthstone!

The latest reference I could find for The Beegee Co. is in the May 8, 1920 issue of The American Stationer under "clutch pencils." And with that, the company appears to have slipped into history.

There’s one other interesting tidbit about this Beegee. Did you notice that interesting accommodation clip?


Well, this one’s in pretty bad shape, but that clip has its own story. While this one has an advertisement in it for The Petroleum Iron Works, most of these have a tiny calendar in them. Were it in better shape, you’d be able to see the patent date of January 27, 1914 on it, which refers to number 1,085,386, issued to Joseph Leitschuh:

I’ve had more than 99 cents’ worth of fun with this one, haven’t I?

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