Thursday, August 8, 2013

So That's What That Is!

At the Ohio Show last November, Rob Bader had a couple things of which he couldn’t make heads or tails. They were in such bad condition that they didn’t really have any monetary value, but he thought they were too neat to just throw away – so instead, he put them in a picnic basket and in the dead of night, he left them on the doorstep at Jon’s Home For Orphaned and Wayward Pencils -- a cigar box in my basement that is sort of a halfway house between the garbage can and my collection.

Sometimes, one of the poor souls at JHFOWP will donate their important parts to get another pencil back on the road, and what’s left goes into the trash.  But every once in a while, in cases such as this, one will be identified as something special, even in its current state, and will be paroled as is into polite society.  Thinking about the American Perpetual from yesterday’s article, particularly when I looked at it with the cap removed to reload it, led me to finally identify this one:


There aren’t any markings on what’s left of the American Perpetual Rob gave me, so at the time I I had mused that it might be an Eagle.  But side by side with the cap removed, there’s no question what this one is.

The other thing that threw me off was that accommodation clip, which gives the pencil an entirely different appearance than its more refined twin.  Clips like these are easy to move from one pencil to another, but in this case the clip looks like it’s been there for a long, long time:


On closer examination, while that clip might well have been on this pencil for a hundred years and may even have been sold with it when it was new, it’s clear that the clip wasn’t made by American.   The lettering on the face of it is pretty tough to make out, but it bears a patent date of February 8, 1910:


The reference is to Levi Van Valkenberg’s patent number 948,802, which he applied for on May 25, 1909:


Good call not throwing this one away, Rob!

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