A lot of what John Holland put out towards the end was really, really terrible. Like Eversharp, Holland kept going long after the company should have quit. There was one relative bright spot as the company slipped into history, though: the company put out some neat calendar pencils that I’ve written about here a couple of times (check out http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/05/ill-never-surprise-jack.html and http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/06/jacks-back.html).
I’ve got just a couple more sentences to add to this last chapter of the Holland story:
The upper one was the last thing I bought at the Philadelphia show this year. I never knew these things came in ringtops! Unfortunately, the imprint on this one isn’t as clear as I’d like, but you can make it out with a little help from a china marker:
The other example isn’t marked at all. Sure, I know you could put anything in that box and say it’s a Holland, but in this case I’m sure that it is. The calendar element, even though it has been moved to the top, is the same distinctive sort of metal ring as the others, and I have seen Holland use that tapered black cap on top:
The circumstances in which it turned up – an online auction by a seller who didn’t know much about pencils and didn’t ordinarily deal in them – also weigh against a mismatch. Oh, and did I mention it came with an instruction sheet?
Helpful operation tips there, Captain Obvious.