Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Matching Mismatch?

I can’t remember where this set came from, but there’s a lot to see with this one:


This set is packaged in a plastic box that feels just like the boxes in which you’ll sometimes find dress shirts packaged, so it is a miracle that any of these have survived. Best of all is the lettering on the corner:


The Moore Fingertip was the company’s last attempt to produce a quality writing instrument, introduced in 1946. Although the pens sported a unique inlaid nib that looked like a fingernail (hence the name), the pen was an otherwise conventional lever filler; between ballpoint pens and sleeker, more modern filling systems offered by Parker and Sheaffer, Moore never stood a fighting chance with products like these.

There’s just one problem with this: the set inside isn’t a Fingertip set. Instead it’s a "Moore Professional Set":


You might have noticed the difference between the two clips. For whatever it’s worth, it appears to me that everything that came with this box is at least as it was originally packaged for sale. According to the paperwork, the set was designated No. 929-A:


The pencil has a "Mastercraft" clip and the pen sports a slightly cheaper version - see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/04/mastercrafts-little-brother.html. Note also the open nib:


But the stickers on the pen and pencil are consistent wl8ith the packaging: a 92-A pen plus a 9-A pencil would logically equal a 929-A set:


The 9-A sticker on the pencil matches the barrel stamp, which includes both the same model number as well as patent number 2,358,091 – the "Lovejoy patent" which was not only used on the cap-actuated Fingertip, but was later adapted to a button-activated repeater produced by Moore and later licensed to Eversharp and, after both Moore and Eversharp had closed, eventually to Dur-O-Lite (see "Dawn of the Fingertip - and Beyond" at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/04/dawn-of-fingertip-and-beyond.html ).


As for the pen, the open and conventional nib matches what is shown on the drawings at the back of the pamphlet:


Inside is a Moore’s warranty, printed in a script that mimics handwriting:



Everything about this set appears to be complete, in order and perfectly preserved . . . in the wrong box. Or is it? A set this well-preserved must have been kept together in something for the last six or seven decades. Who’s to say the salesman at the pen counter back in ‘46 or so didn’t reach for the wrong box when he was packaging this set up to send home with a customer?

It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve got a great set with all the paperwork and a great box . . . and I’m not separating them now!

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