Thursday, April 11, 2013

A "Pleasing Contrast"

Here’s one more that was on Andy Beliveau’s table at the Philadelphia Pen Show. I was so glad that I finally found sufficient time to pull up a chair, with loupe and camera in hand, and really study the things that he had there. You really do have to study hard to get all of the nuances that I knew would be there.

Take this one for example:


Such a neat little "magic pencil" – the tip extends when the rear is pulled back:


What’s really striking is the checkerboard-type pattern of what is probably 9-karat gold and mother of pearl:


I promised Andy that when I got the chance, I’d look up the patent that’s stamped on the upper portion for him:


It was a little tricky to find, because it wasn’t the mechanics that were being patented, but the appearance of the pencil. Here’s design patent number number 6,229, which was issued to Ephraim S. Johnson, of Jersey City, New Jersey on October 29, 1872:


Although our pencil has three rows of alternating gold and mother of pearl rather than two, Johnson’s patent was for the checkerboard concept itself:


And a pleasing contrast it is!

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