Saturday, November 22, 2014

Beyond a Doubt, Indeed

You can’t please everyone. I still remember the irate email I received shortly after The Catalogue was first published, in which one of the buyers of the book complained bitterly that I didn’t include enough advertising pencils. The guy might not have been alone:  the most-read article here at Leadhead's since I started the blog is "Shaw Barton Gets Its Due."

So when I decided last week that I was going to start posting about advertising-specific pencil companies on weekends, it didn’t surprise me much that a few emails arrived to chime in about their favorite brands. One of them came from Harry Shubin, who sent me pictures of this "Vernon," which he described as "beyond a doubt Ritepoint."


Without any markings on the pencil other than Vernon, all Harry would have to go on in order to draw that conclusion is the clip, which is identical to what you’d find on a Ritepoint. Harry is, of course, dead on correct: Vernon pencils were made by Ritepoint. Thanks to something my friend Michael Little had listed online, I can add some punctuation to that conclusion:


Nothing like a salesman’s sample case to prove that point! Ritepoint supplied pencils to a variety of advertising specialty companies, which is why "The Vernon Co. / Newton, Iowa" is printed in what appears to be a cartouche inside which any company’s name might be embossed. Inside this case were fifteen different sample pencils, each of which are printed with Vernon sample advertising:





There aren’t any creative model names assigned to the different varieties; each bears merely a catalog number used for ordering and the different options available: color of trim, length and diameter of lead and so forth.


A few of these examples are really interesting. Two of them have a Ritepoint imprint near the bottom of the cap in addition to Vernon clips and imprints:


This example has an interesting clip that wraps over the top of the cap. I’ll circle back to that clip in future articles, because it ties in a couple other brands to Ritepoint:


Mike’s Vernon sample case had a good representative sampling of the brand. I had a couple other varieties on hand that weren't included to add to this article:


The cream colored example has a more elaborate logo printed on the barrel:


The cap on that one has a clip that matches the ones on the Shedd-Brown pencils; the ribbed cap is a nice touch. As for the other one, with the chrome cap . . . I’m not altogether sure that one was made by Ritepoint, but it does match caps found on a couple other brands we’ll get to.


Vernon is still in the corporate advertising business.  According to the company's website, it was founded in 1902.  The company's slogan is "Get your brand on."  

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Martha said...
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