Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And Real Colorful, Too

Realite was a Chicago company established as a separate concern in late 1921. Here’s an Realite advertisement from the November, 1922 edition of Office Appliances:


As Autopoint fanatic Jim Stauffer recently documented, Realite purchased the Autopoint Company in 1923 and the combined company was renamed Autopoint Products Co. and later simply Autopoint Company. But that doesn’t mean the new Autopoint Company abandoned the Realite name entirely – in fact, it maintained the brand for decades after the merger and made some really interesting pencils in spectacular colors I’ve not seen elsewhere.

Take this one, for example – it was the last purchase I made at the Baltimore Show this year, and it was cheap since it was missing the cap (fortunately, I keep a few duplicates of these on hand just for such an emergency):


Up close, it’s easier to see the rich blue veins underneath that brown pearl. Note that the celluloid is a strip that is wrapped around the barrel like a barber’s pole:


I believe the clip is a little later than these other two Realites I’ve added recently, one in what looks like the same grey with red flecks used by Waterman and the other in green marble:


These ball-clip examples have a slightly domed top, reminiscent of another Autopoint subbrand, the "Realpoint":


But the real surprise for me (or should I say "Realite" surprise?) arrived by mail, after I bought a bunch of junkers in an online auction just so I could get my hands on this one:


I didn’t realize from the pictures that, in addition to the wild alternating strips of green marble and brown with white veins, this one was so much longer. Also, note that instead of a ball clip, this one has a more streamlined flat ball clip. I would suspect that, taking a cue from Sheaffer, the flat ball clip is a little later than the round ball version:


And there’s one more surprise when it comes to this monster Realite: the eraser is in a separate assembly, like a Waterman Patrician, instead of being on the end of the pencil:

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