Monday, August 5, 2013

Two Mississippi . . .

It happened twice.  At the Chicago show in May, Rob Bader came up to me with that familiar look on his face, holding a pencil he knew I’d have to have.  In Raleigh a month later, it was if we’d rewound the tape (if anyone “rewinds” “tapes” anymore) and replayed the scene.  Bada bing.  Bada boom.


Note that the small black one has a secondary gold filled tassie at the top.  Both ended up costing me the same, the small one due to its flawless condition, and the larger one due to its unusually large size:


Moore called the pens the “Speedline,” so I’ve always referred to these as Moore Speedline pencils.  Unfortunately, my only source for this information is the 1937 Pencraft Wholesale catalog, which isn’t particularly helpful:


Note that the only mention of pencils in this ad are in sets, offered only in black (notwithstanding the fact that the picture shows a striped plastic set).

It looks like there’s four models listed here, but there’s only pictures of two of them: a 280 series “short clip” pen, identified as a “Ladies” model, and a 490 series “Standard” model, which is identified as a “Men’s” pen with a clip that looks – well – exactly the same as the “short clip.”  Note also that the men’s pen pictured has that secondary tassie on top, while the ladies’ model doesn’t, but I’m not sure there’s any rhyme or reason to that, either.  Here’s all of my plastic Speedlines together:


Only that short black one has the secondary tassie, and the oversized one doesn’t.  Even though my next largest one in green has a price sticker, it’s just that – all it says is “$2.00.”

Ah well.  I suppose short of finding a 1936 or so Moore catalog with copious illustrations I may never know which is supposed to be what here.  For now, all I know is that they come in three sizes: cool, cooler and coolest.

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